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Cornell  University 

The  original  of  tiiis  book  is  in 
tine  Cornell  University  Library. 

There  are  no  known  copyright  restrictions  in 
the  United  States  on  the  use  of  the  text. 


Most  Rev.  John  Hughes,  D.D, 




CmfttUg  CffmgiUtr  from  t\t  \itf>\  ^mmi, 



VOL.   I. 







Entered  according  to  Act  of  CongreES,  In  the  year  1864, 


In  the  Olorli'e  Office  of  the  District  Court  of  the  United  States  for  the  Southern  District  of 

New  Tork. 




No.  20  North  William  Street 


Having  heard  many  persons,  admirers   of  the  late  Archbishop 
Hughes,    express    a  wish    that    his   public    lectures,   letters    and 
speeches  might  be  collected  and  published  iu  book  form,  the  com- 
piler of  this  volume  has,  after   some   deliberation,  undertaken  the 
task,  which,  he  trusts,  will  prove  acceptable  to  the  Catholic  com- 
munity in  general.    The  following  pages  are  the  first  installment, 
and  vill  be  immediately  followed  by  another  volume  of  about  the 
same  size,  wMch  will  complete  the  work.    The  biographical  sketch 
merely  touches  upon  the  principal  events  in  His  Grace's  career,  but 
is  the  most  complete  one  yet  published.     The  speeclies  of  His  Grace 
on  the  School  Question — a  question  which  first  brought  him  prom- 
inently before  the  New  York  public — will,  no  doubt,  be  read  with 
pleasure  as  well  as  profit  by  thousands  who  have  heard  of  these  great 
efforts  of  Dr.  Hughes,  but  who  have  had  no  chance  heretofore  of 
reading  them.    His  speeches  before  the  Board  of  Aldermen,  as  well 
as  his  great  Three  Days'  Speech  in  Carroll  Hall  on  this  ques- 
tion, will  be  found  in  this  volume  in  full.     Other  important  docu- 
ments are  also  given   entire.      The  concluding   volume   will  also 
contain  important  writings  of  Archbishop  Hughes,  which  should  be 
read  by  every  Catholic  in  the  land. 

The  Editor, 
New  York,  September,  1864. 



Biographical  Sketch  of  Aeohbishop  Hdgees 7 

Funeral  Ce'rebionies 15 

Names  op  Bishops  and  Priests  Present IG 

Oration  op  Kt.  Rev.  John  McCloskiet,  D.  B 17 

Resolutions  op  the  Tr0stees  op  St.  Patrick's  Cathedral — The  Courts — Com- 
mon  Council,  State   Legislature,  etc.,   on   the   Death  op   Archbishop 

Hughes 22 

Letters  prom   the   President   of   the  United  States,  Seoretaet  Seward  and 

Governor  Seymour 24 

Month's  Mind  Ceremonies 25 

Sermon  of  Et.  Rev.  John  Loughlin,  D.  D 26 


Sermon  on  Catholic  Emancipation,  Preached  in  1829 ■. 29 


Speech  in  St.  Patrick's  School-Room,  July  20th,  18i0 41 

"  Basement  op  St.  James'  Church,  July  27th,  1840 48 

Address  op  the  Catholics  to  their  Fellow-Citizens  of  the  City  and  State 

of  New  York— Speech  of  Archbishop  Hughes 50 

Speech  in  Basement  of  St.  James'  Church,  August  24th,  1840 66 

Letter  to  "Evening  Post"  in  Answer  to  an  "Irish  Catholic." 79 

Speech  in  Basement  op  St.  James'  Church,  Sept.  7th,  1840 81 

"  "  ,     "  "  "     21st,  1840 96 

Petition  op  the  Catholics  of  New  York  to  the  Board  op  Aldermen  for  a 

Portion  op  the  Common  School  Fund 102 

Speech  in  Basement  of  St.  James'  Church,  Oct.  5th,  1840 107 

"  "  "  "  "19th,  1840 114 

"    BEFORE  City  Council— First  Day 125 

"         "  "  —Second  Day 143 

Great  Speech  in  Carroll  Hall— First  Day ; 183 

"  "  —Second  Day 197 

"  «'  —Third  Day 211 

Review  of  Me.  Ketchum's  Rejoinder 227 

Speech  in  Washington  Hall,  Feb.  11th,  1841 242 

in  Carroll  Hall,  March  30th,  1841 246 

"  April  20th,  1841 254 

IN  Washington  Hall,  June  1st,  1841 262 

IN  Caeeo'll  Hall,  Oct.  25th,  1841 270 

"  Oct.  29th,  1841 275 



Address  to  Bishop  Hdghes. ^®* 

Bishop  Hughes'  Reply  to  Addbess 289 

Lettee  on  State  op  Ireland 297 

Lectdre — ''  Life  and  Times  of  Pins  VII." 299 

CiKCDLAR  Letter  to  the  Clbbgt,  1842 21* 

Pastoral  Letter  in  1842,  on  Administration  of  the  Sacraments,  Secret  So- 
cieties, Church  Property,  etc 31^ 

Apology  for  Pastoral  Letter,  in  Reply  to  the  Strictures  of  Four  Editors 

of  Political  Newspapers 327 

Apology  Continued— First  Letter  to  David  Hale 335 

"  "         —Second    "  "  3*3 

"  "         —Third       "  "  348 

Lecture — "  Influence  of  Christianity  on  Civilization." '. 351 

Lecture — "  Influence  op  Christianity  on  Social  Servitude." 371 

Meeting   ot  tee   New   York  Church   Debt  Association — Speech    of   Bishop 

Hughes,  May  3d,  184il 386 

Speech  of  Bishop  Hughes,  May  10th,  1841 396 

"  May  S6th,  18.41 399 

Letter  to  Bishop  Hughes,  with  his  Reply 402 

Introduction  to  Mr.  Livingston's  Book  on  V  Imputation." 406 

Lecture — "  The   Mixture   of   Civil  and  Ecclesiastical  Power  in  the  Middle 

Aces." 417 

State  op  the  Diocese  of  New  York  in  1841 437 

Extracts  from  Journal  of  a  Voyage  across  the  Atlantic 443 

Letters  on  the  Moral  Causes  which  produced  the  Evil  Spirit  of  the  Times — 

First  Letter — To  Mayor  Harper 460 

Second    "     —To  Col.  Stoijp 463 

Third       "      —  "  486 

'   Fourth    "      —  "  .•; 493 

Alleged  Burning  of  Bibles  in  Clinton  County,  N.  Y 501 

The  Jubilee  of  1842 505 

Sermon  on  the  Jubilee 606 

The  Latest  Invention 510 

Lecture— "The  Importance  of  a  Christian  Basis  for  the  Science  op  Political 

Economy" 513 

Eulogy  on  Bishop  Fenwick 534 

Lecture — Antecedent  Causes  of  the  Irish  Famine  in  1847 544 

Sermon  before  both  Houses  of  Congress 558 

"  KiRWAN." .^ 673 

Letters  on  the  Importance  op  being  in  Communion  with  Christ's  One,  Holt, 
Catholic  and  Apostolic  Church,  Addressed  to  a  Private  Reasoner — 

First  Letter 577 

Second    "      583 

Third      " 59O 

Fourth    " 595 

Fifth      >' 002 

Sixth      " 609 

Seventh  "      gjg 

Eighth    "      ; 622 

Ninth      "      628 

"  Kihwan"   [Jnmasked 636 

Appendix 665 



"  Lives  of  great  men  oft  remind  us 
We  can  make  our  lives  sublime, 
And,  departing,  leave  behind  us 
Footsteps  on  the  sands  of  time." 

^*  He  was  a  man ;  take  him  for  all  in  all. 
We  flhall  not  look  upon  his  like  again."      • 

Ireland,  prolific  land  of  genius,  has  given  to  Europe  some  of  the  most 
profound  divines,  greatest  generals,  and  ablest  statesmen.  England, 
France,  Spain,  Austria,  all  have  had  the  benefit  of  Irish  talent  and  Irish 
worth.  But  it  is  America  that  has  received  the  great  influx  of  Irishmen,  — 
men  of  exalted,  as  well  as  of  humble  birth,  and  she  received  them  with 
open  arms  and  generous  heart,  for  which  generosity  they  have  paid  her 
back,  in  the  pulpit,  the  council-chamber,  and  the  battle-field,  an  hundred- 
fold. It  is  only  in  America  that  Irish  genius  and  talent  have  had  a  "  fair 
field  and  no  favor^"  and,  consequently,  have  taken  the  lead  in  almost  every 
department  of  life.  Am9ng  those  who  came  to  this  country  in  the  early 
part  of  the  present  century,  from  that  misgoverned  "Isle  of  the  Ocean," 
was  the  father  of  Archbishop  Hughes.  He  settled  in  Chambersburg,  Pa., 
where  his  only  surviving  son,  Mr.  Michael  Hughes,  now  resides,  and  where 
the  ashes  of  the  beloved  parents  of  our  late  Archbishop  repose. 

The  Most  Reverend  John  H>ughes,  D.  D.,  was  born  in  the  town  of  Ologher, 
County  Tyrone,  Ireland,  towards  the  close  of  the  year  1798.  He  was  the 
son  of  a  respectable  farmer  of  small  means,  and  emigrated  to  America  in 
1817  on  account  of  the  disabilities  to  which  his  religion  was  subjected  in 
his  native  country.  His  father  had  preceded  him  to  this  country  a  short 
time,  and  had  purchased  a  small  farm,  and  tfiken  up  his  abode  near 
Chambersburg,  Pa.  On  young  Hughes'  arrival  in  this  country,  his  father 
placed  him  with  a  florist  to  learn  the  art  of  gardening ;  but  having  little 
taste  for  such  pursuits,  and  feeling  within  himself  a  call  to  till  and  cultivate 
the  "  Gai'den  of  the  Lord,"  he  devoted  his  spare  time  to  study,  and  as  soon 
as  his  engagement  expired,  entered  the  Theological  Seminary  at  Mount  St. 
Mai-y's,  Emmettsburg,  Md.,  where  he  remained  for  seven  years,  being 
employed  almost  from  the  first  as  a  teacher.  He  was  ordained  Priest  in 
the  year  1836,  in  Philadelphia,  and  was  appointed  to  the  pastoral  charge 



of  St.  Joseph's  Church  of  that  city.  Here  his  sermons  attracted  general 
attention,  and  were  attended  by  the  ilite  of  Philadelphia.  In  1829  he 
preached  a  powerful  sermon  in  St.  Joseph's  Church,  in  commemoration  of 
the  great  event  just  accomplished  in  Ireland  through  the  untiring  efforts 
of  Daniel  O'Connell — Catholic  Emancipation.  This  sermon  was  his  first 
great  effort  at  pulpit  eloquence,  and  it  was  a  grand  success.  It  was 
jjublished  in  pamphlet  form,  and  was  inscribed  to  Daniel  O'Connell. 

About  this  time,  the  Anti-Catholic  feeling  in  the  United  States  was  just 
commencing.  This  opposition  was  due,  in  great  part,  to  the  rapid  progress 
Catholicity  was  then  making,  which  opened  the  eyes  of  the  bigots  of  the 
various  sects  to  the  fact,  that  there  was  a  livin;/  Church  in  their  midst ;  as 
well  as  to  several  filthy  Anti-Catholic  publications  of  the  "  Maria  Monk  " 
class,  which  had  a  large  circulation  throughout  the  country.  Among  the 
champions  who  was  determined  to  put  down  the  "  Power  of  Rome  "  in 
this  country  was  the  Rev.  John  Breckenridge,  a  Presbyterian  minister.  In 
1830,  Mr.  Breckenridge  challenged  the  Rev.  J.  Hughes  to  discuss  the 
question:  "Is  the  Protestant  religion  the  religion  of . Christ ?"  The  con- 
troversy was  earned  on  in  the  Catholic  and  Presbyterian  newspapers  for 
several  months,  and  attracted  so  much  attention,  that  the  articles  were 
subsequently  collected  in  a  volume,  which  had  for  a  time  a  wide  circula- 
tion. In  1834,  Mr.  Breckenridge  renewed  the  challenge,  by  proposing  an 
oral  discussion  on  the  question :  "  Is  the  Roman  Catholic  religion  in  any 
or  in  all  its  principles  and  doctrines  inimical  to  civil  or  religious  liberty  ?" 
Bishop  Hughes,  then  only  a  priest,  immediately  came  forward  as  the 
Catholic  champion.  The  debate  was  published  in  book  form  in  1836,  and 
has  gone  through  several  editions  since,  all  of  which  have  been  published 
by  Catholics,  and  was  regarded  with  great  interest  by  the  public  of  both 
parties.  In  1833,  he  founded  and  had  erected  St.  John's  Church,  i)i  Phila- 
delphia, and  was  its  pastor  as  long  as  he  remained  in  that  city. 
In  1837,  Bishop  Dubois,  of  New  York,  having  demanded,  on  account  of 

,  age  and  infirmity,  some  relief  from  the  cares  of  the  Episcopate,  the  Holy 
See  appointed  Bishop  Hughes  Coadjutor.  He  was  consecrated  Bishop  of 
Basilopolis,  in  New  York,  January  9th,  1838,  by  Bishop  Dubois,  assisted 
by  Bishops  Kenrick,  of  Philadelphia,  and  Fenwick,  of  Boston.  In  about 
two  weeks  after.  Bishop  Dubois  was  attacked  by  paralysis,  from  which  he 
never  wholly  recovered.  In  the  following  year  the  Pope  appointed  Bishop 
Hughes  Administrator  of  the  Diocese ;  and  although  he  did  not  succeed  to 

the  full  dignity  of  Bishop  until  the  death  of  Bishop  Dubois,  in  1843,  the 
government  of  that  portion  of  the  Church  was  thenceforth  entirely  in  his 
hands.     His  first  measures  were  directed  to  a  reform  in  the  tenure  of 

Church  property,  which  was  then  vested  in  lay  trustees,  a  system  that  had 
more  than  once  given  rise  to  scandalous  conflicts  between  the  congrega- 
tions and  the  Episcopal  authority.  All  the  churclies  in  the  city,  at  that 
time  only  eight  in  number;  were  heavily  in  debt,  and  five  were  bankrupt,  and 
on  th(j  point  of  being  sold.    Bishop  Hughes  resolved  to  consolidate  the 

Church  debts,  to  remove  them  from  the  management  of  laymen  and  to 
secure  the  titles  in  his  own  name.    In  this  undertaking  he  was  violently 


opposed  by  theTrusteeg,  and  was  at  the  time  only  partially  successful,  but 
the  most  pressing  debts  were  paid  off,  and  harmony  was  eventually 
restored.  His  plan,  however,  succeeded  in  the  end,  and  before  his  death 
he  had  the  pleasure  of  seeing  the  eight  churches  more  than  quadrupled, 
and  all  of  them  nearly  -out  of  debt.  Such  was  Bishop  Hughes'  foresight, 
that  all  his  undertakings  proved  successful  in  the  end. 

In  1839,  Bishop  Hughes  visited  Prance,  Austria,  and  Italy,  to  obtain 
pecuniary  aid  for  his  diocese.  On  his  return  he  applied  himself  with  great 
energy  to  the  cause  of  Catholic  education.  Already,  during  the  previous 
year,  he  had  purchased  property  at  Fordham,  in  Westchester  County,  for 
the  purpose  of  establishing  a  college.  He  now  completed  its  organization, 
and  it  was  opened  in  1841,  under  the  name  of  St.  John's  College. 

During  his  absence  in  Europe,  the  School  Question  was  discussed  in 
weekly  meetings,  held  by  the  Catholics,  in  the  school-house  attached  to  St. 
Patrick's  Cathedral.  The  Bishop  arrived  from  Europe  early  in  July,  and 
attended  the  weekly  meeting  in  the  school-room,  on  July  30th,  at  which 
he  made  his  first  great  speech  against  the  Common  School  System  then 
existing  in  this  City  and  State,  and  in  relation  to  the  Common  SchoolFund. 
This  speech  will  be  found  in  full  in  another  part  of  this  book,  and  will  be 
read  with  interest,  as  it  will  give  the  Catholics  of  to-day  a  knowledge  of 
wliat  the  Bishop  and  the  Catholics  of  that  day  had  to  contend  against. 

The  dispute  on  the  School  Question  continued,  and  brought  the  Bishop 
still  more  prominently  before  the  public.  He  made  speeches  at  nearly  all 
the  meetings.  These  speeches  attracted  the  attention  not  only  of  the 
Catholics  of  this  country,  but  even  of  Europe ;  and  the  expose  of  the 
school-books  then  in  use  was  extensively  copied  and  commented  upon  by 
the  European  press.  It  was  charged  by  Catholics  that  the  Common 
Schools  were  sectarian  in  character,  and  they  complained  of  the  injustice 
of  taxing  them  for  the  support  of  schools  to  which  they  could  not  con- 
scientiously send  their  children.  An  association  was  formed  for  obtaining 
relief  It  was  demanded  either  that  the  taxes  should  be  removed  or  that 
a  change  should  be  made  in  the  system  of  education.  The  Catholics 
petitioned  the  Common  Council  in  September,  1840,  to  designate  seven 
Catholic  Schools  as  "  entitled  to  participate  in  the  Common  School  Fund, 
upon  complying  with  the  requirements  of  the  law."  This  petition  will 
also  be  found  in  its  proper  place  in  this  volume.  Eemonstrances  to  this 
petition  wore  sent  in  on  behalf  of  the  "  Public  School  Society,"  by  its 
presideiit,  K.  C.  Cornell,  the  pastors  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,  and 
other  Protestant  clergy,  and  on  October  29th  and  30th,  both  parties 
appeared  before  the  Common  Council,  and  occupied  the  two  days  in 
debate.  "The  Public  School  Society  "  was  represented  by  Messrs..  Theo- 
dore Sedgwick  and  Hiram  Ketchum  as  counsel;  the  Rev.  Drs.  Bond,  Bangs, 
and  Reese,  and  a  Mr.  Peck  on  behalf  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church ; 
Rev.  Dr.  Knox  on  the  part  of  the  Reformed  Dutch  Church,  and  Rev.  Dr. 
Spring  for  the  Presbyterian  Church.  Bishop  Hughes  answered  them  all  in 
an  elaborate  speech  of  several  hours,  which  can  be  found  in  full  in  this 
volume.     It  is  a  most  interesting  document,  and  will  be  read  with  general 


interest.    But  notwitUstandiBg  the  able  and  lucid  speech  of  the  Bishop, 
the  petition  was  not  granted. 

The  Catholics,  under  the  lead  of  their  talented  Bishop,  were  determined 
not  to  give  the  matter  up  so  easily.  They  presented  a  petition  to  the 
State  Legislature,  praying  for  redress.  A  bill  in  their  favor  passed  the 
Assembly,  but  was  lost  in  the  Senate,  and  was  finally  referred  to  Hon. 
.John  C.  Spencer,  Secretary  of  State  and  Superintendent  of  Common 
Schools,  who  reported  unfavorably  of  the  Public  School  System.  This 
alarmed  the  Society,  and  they  sent  a  remonstrance  to  the  Legislature 
against  granting  the  petition  of  the  Catholics.  Both  parties  had  a  bearing 
before  a  Committee  of  the  Senate;  Hiram  Ketchum  appearing  for  the 
Society,  and  James  W.  McKeon  and  Wright  Hawkes  for  the  Catholics. 
A  bill  was  framed  in  conformity  with  the  recommendations  of  the  Secre- 
tary of  State,  and  put  before  the  Senate,  but  after  a  long  debate  was  finally 
postponed.  As  Mr.  Ketchum's  speech  was  published  in  fall,  and  exten- 
sively circulated,  while  those  on  the  Catholic  side  were  not  even  noticed, 
Bishop  Hughes  announced  that  he  would  publicly  review  and  refute  Mr. 
Ketchum's  speech  im  Carroll  Hall  in  this  city.  The  meetings  took  place 
on  the  evenings  of  the  16th,  17th,  and  aisit  of  June,  1841,  and  were 
attended  by  immense  audiences.  These  speeches  are  very  long,  and  on 
account  of  their  importance  in  regard  to  the  School  Question,  are  given 
in  full  in  these  pages. 

In  the  ensuing  election  the  School  Question  assumed  a  striking  promi- 
nence in  the  political  canvass.  The  Catholics,  by  the  advice  of  Bishop 
Hughes,  held  meetings  in  what  was  then  known  as  "  Carroll  Hall,"  (now 
St.  Andrew's  Church),  and  nominated  an  independent  ticket.  The  result 
of  the  election  showed  them  to  be  so  strong  that  some  modifications  of  the 
existing  School  System  were  soon  effected.  Throughout  this  exciting 
controversy  Bishop  Hughes  was  the  animating  spirit  of  his  co-religionists, 
and  was  called  on  at  times  to  defend  himself  through  the  press  against  the 
personal  attacks  of  his  opponents.  About  eight  o'clock  on  electiou  might, 
April  13th,  1843,  a  gang  of  ruffians  proceeded  stealthily  to  the  residence 
of  the  Bishop,  who  was  absent  at  the  time,  as  were  also  the  clergymen 
belonging  to  the  Presbytery,  and  proceeded  to  demolish  the  windows  with 
stones,  brickbats  and  clubs.  After  wreaking  their  malice  to  a  considerable 
extent,  they  ran  away  to  prevent  recognition.  At  this  time  Bishop  Hughes 
was  accused  of  abetting  discord  by  some  of  the  papers,  in  reply  to  which 
he  thus  nobly  defended  himself:  "  I  am  not  a  man  of  strife  nor  contention. 
My  disposition  is,  I  trust,  both  pacific  and  benevolent.  As  a  proof  of  this 
I  may  mention  that  I  have  never  had  a  personal  altercation  with  a  human 
being  in  my  life— that  I  have  never  had  occasion  to  call  others,  or  be  caUed 
myself,  before  any  civil  tribunal  on  earth.  It  is  true  that  public  duty  has 
not  unfrequently  forced  upon  me  the  necessity  of  taking  my  stand  in  moral 
opposition  to  principles  which  I  deemed  injurious  and  unjust.  But  even 
then,  I  trust,  1  have  made  the  distinction  which  Christian  feeling  suggests 
between  the  cause  and  the  person  of  the  advocate  arrayed  against  me." 
What  was  true  if  him  theuj  was  true  of  him  to  the  hour  of  his  death. 


In  1841  he  established  at  Fordham  the  Theological  Seminary  of  St. 
Joseph.  In  August,  1843,  he  held  the  first  Diocesan  Synod  of  New  York, 
and  ill  a  pastoral  letter  dated  September  8,  enforced  its  decrees  respecting 
Secret  Societies  and  Church  property.  His  "  Rules  for  the  Administration 
of  Churches  without  Trustees,"  published  in  1845,  embody  the  system 
adopted  by  this  Synod.  About  1843,  the  extent  of  his  diocese  led  him  to 
ask  for  a  Coadjutor,  and  the  Rev.  J.  McCIoskey,  now  Bishop  of  Albany, 
was  accordingly  appointed,  and  was  consecrated  March  10,  1844.  During 
the  Philadelphia  riots  in  1844,  Bishop  Hughes  addressed  a  letter  to  Mayor 
Harper,  refuting  slanders  published  against  him  by  the  Herald,  Commercial 
Advertiser,  and  other  papers,  in  which  the  following  passage  occurs  in 
relation  to  himself:  "  He  landed  on  these  shores  friendless,  and  with  but 
a  few  guineas  in  his  purse.  He  never  received  the  charity  of  any  man ;  he 
never  borrowed  of  any  man  without  repaying ;  he  never  had  more  than  a 
few  dollars  at  a  time ;  he  never  had  a  patron — in  the  Church  or  out  of  it ; 
and  it  is  he  who  has  the-  honor  to  address  you  now  as  Catholic  Bishop  of 
New  York."  This  letter  is  also  published  in  our  pages,  and  is  well  worthy 
of  attentive  perusal,  as  it  shows  who  were  the, enemies  of  the  Bishop  in 
these  trying  times.  -         ' 

In  December,  1845,  Bishop  Hughes  sailed  again  for  Europe,  in  order  to 
procure  the  services  of  Some  of  the  Jesuits,  Brothers  of  the  Christian 
Schools,  and  Sisters  of  Mercy.  He  was  successful  in  his  efforts,  and 
returned  in  the  spring  of  1846.  A  few  months  afterward  he  was  solicited 
by  President  Polk  to  accept  a  special  mission  to  Mexico,  but  declined,  on 
account  of  having  other  more  pressing  duties  to  attend  to.  In  1847,  at  the 
requL'st  of  both  Houses  of  Congress,  he  delivered  a  lecture  in  the  Hall  of 
Representatives  at  Washington,  on  "  Christianity  the  only  Source  of  Moral, 
Social,  and  Politi-cal  Regeneration."  In  this  year  his  diocese  was  divided 
by  the  erection  of  the  Sees  of  Albany  and  Buffalo,  Bishop  Hughes  retaining 
all  the  counties  of  New  York  south  of  the  parallel  of  42  degrees,,  witli  a 
part  of  New  Jersey.  In  1850  New  York  was  raised  to  the  dignity  of 
an  Archiepiscopal  See,  and  Archbishop  Hughes  went  to  Rome  to 
receive  the  pallium  at  the  hands  of  the  Pope.  The  first  Provincial 
Council  of  New  York  was  held  in  1854,  and  attended  by  seven  suffragans, 
the  new  Bishoprics  of  Brooklyn  and  Newark  having  been  created  the 
preceding  year.  Soon  after  its  close  the  Archbishop  made  another  visit  to 
Rome,  in  order  to  be  present  at  the  definition  of  the  dogma  of  the  Immacu- 
late Conception.  On  his  return  he  was  involved  in  a  controversy  with  the 
Honorable  Erastus  Brooks,  editor  of  the  New  York  Express  and  member  of 
fihe  State  Senate,  growing  ouit  of  the  Church  Property  question.  At  the 
petition  of  the  Trustees  of  St.  Louis'  Church,  Buffalo,  a  bill,  which  subse- 
■  quently  became  a  law,  bad  been  introduced  into  the  Legislature  designed 
to  vest  the  title  to  all  Church  property  in  Trustees.  In  supporting  this 
measure,  Mr.  Brooks  stated  that  Archbishop  Hughes  owned  property  in  the 
city  of  New  York  to  the  amount  of  about  $5,000,000.    The  Archbishop, 


who  was  absent  in  Europe  when  Mr.  Brooks  made  this  assertion,  came 
forward  as  soon  as  he  returned,  and  denied  these  assertions  of  Mr.  Brooks 
as  incorrect,  stating  that  the  property  was  not  his,  but  belonged  to  the 
Church.  A  long  discussion  through  the  newspapers  was  the  result.  The 
Archbishop  subsequently  collected  the  letters  on  both  sides  and  published 
them  in  a  volume,  with  an  introduction  reviewing  the  Trustee  system  (New 
York,  1855).  The  bill  passed  at  this  time,  and  which  gave  rise  to  this 
discussion,  was  repealed  by  the  Legislature  of  1863. 

On  August  15th,  1858,  he  laid  the  corner-stone  of  a  new  Cathedral, 
designed  to  be  one  of  the  grandest  church  edifices  in  America.  The  walls 
are  several  feet  high,  but  alas,  he  did  not  live  to  see  the  grand  idea  of  his 
life  fulfilled.  Shortly  before  the  war  broke  out,  the  work  on  it  was  stopped, 
to  allow  the  foundations  to  settle,  and  has  not  yet  been  resumed.  At  the 
ceremony  on  this  occasion,  it  was  computed  that  150,000  people  were 
present.  The  Archbishop  preached  the  sermon,  and  gave  an  outline  of 
his  plan  for  its  erection.  He  had  sent  circulars  to  several  prominent 
Catholics,  stating  that  he  wanted  one  hundred  persons  to  subscribe  one 
thousand  dollars  each.  To  this  circular  one  hundred  and  three  persons 
replied  favorably ;  two  of  whom  were  Protestants.  In  reference  to  the 
new  Cathedral,  the  following  extract  from  his  sermon  will  not  prove  unin- 
teresting : 

"  Its  special  patron,  as  announced,  is  the  glorious  apostle  of  Ireland,  St.  Patrick, 
— originally  selected  as  patron  of  the  first  Cathedral  commenced  by  our  Catholic 
ancestors  in  Mott  Street  fifty-two  years  ago.  Their  undertaking  was  indeed  an 
example  of  zeal  and  enterprise  worthy  of  our  imitation.  They  were  very  few, 
they  were  very  poor,  but  their  ibinds  were  large  as  the  Cathedral  which  they  pro- 
jected, and  theirs  were  the  hearts  of  great  men.  It  might  he  said  of  them  what 
is  mentioned  in  the  Scriptures,  but  in  a  diflferent  sense,  that  "  there  were  giants  in 
those  days."  They  laid  the  foundation  of  the  first  Cathedral,  at  a  period  when  it 
is  said  that  the  Catholics  of  New  York  were  not  numerous  enough  to  fill  the  small 
Church  of  St.  Peter  in  Barclay  Street — and  that  ten  years  after,  when  the  Cathe- 
dral was  opened,  it  was  necessary,  during  a  short  period,  to  shut  up  St.  Peter's  on 
alternate  Sundays,  in  order  to  accustom  the  people  to  find  their  way  to  the  new 
church,  which  was  then  considered  to  be  far  out  of  the  city.  Honor  to  the 
memory  of  our  ancestors  of  that  period  !  On  the  parchment  containing  the  names 
of  the  first  patrons  of  the  Cathedral  now  projected,  the  United  States  of  America, 
Ireland,  Scotland,  England,  Belgium,  Spain,  France,  and  Germany,  are  all  repre- 
sented. The  names  of  members  belonging  to  the  CathoUc  Church  from  aU  these 
countries  will  slumber  side  by  side  on  the  parchment  that  engrosses  them,  and  is 
to  be  deposited  in  the  cavity  of  that  corner-stone.  Neither  can  I  omit  to  mention 
that  two  gentlemen,  who  are  not  Catholics,  have  spontaneously  contributed  each 
the  amount  specified  in  my  circular.  Their  motive  is  not  their  belief  at  the  pres- 
ent moment  in  the  Catholic  religion.  But  it  is  that  they  are  New  Yorkers  by 
birth— that  they  have  traveled  in  Europe,  and  that  they  are  ambitious  to  see  at 
least  one  ecclesiastical  edifice  on  Manhattan  Island  of  which  their  native  city  will 
have  occasion  to  be  proud.  With  regard  to  this  anticipation,  I  can  only  say  thtit 
so  far  as  depends  on  me,  they  shall  not  be  disappointed." 

But  alas  for  the  uncertainty  of  this  life,  the  great  Archbishop  did  not  live' 
to  see  the  greatest  work  of  his  life  accomplished ;  but  the  broad  founda- 
tions and  plans  are  laid,  and  will  no  doubt  be  completed  by  his  successors. 

Since  that  time  the  Archbishop  has  been  a  constant  worker  for  the 


progress  of  the  Church,  laying  the  corner-stones  of  new  churches,  dedicat- 
ing them,  administering  confirmation,  etc.,  and  continually  preaching  on 
all  these  occasions.  All  these  efforts  were  gradually  undermining  his  con- 
stitution, and  the  close  observer  could  see  that  he  was  fast  failing  in 
general  health.  On  the  1st  of  July,  1860,  he  made  a  most  eloquent  appeal 
in  St.  Patrick's  Cathedral  to  the  Catholics  of  the  diocese  for  their  substan- 
tial aid  for  the  Holy  Father,  who  at  the  time  was  reduced  to  dependence 
onthe  Faithful  throughout  the  world  by  the  loss  of  a  portion  of  his  domin- 
ions. The  appeal  was  nobly  responded  to,  the  amount  raised  being  over 
fifty  thousand  dollars.  The  Pope  acknowledged  the  gift,  and  sent  with  his 
reply  a  massive  silver  medal  in  testimony  of  his  appreciation  of  the  service 
rendered  him  by  the  Catholics  of  New  York. 

In  the  fall  of  1861,  after  the  breaking  out  of  the  rebellion.  Archbishop 
Hughes,  at  the  instigation  of  the  Government,  proceeded  to  Europe  to 
exert  his  influence  in  behalf  of  the  Union  cause.  He  then  proceeded  to 
Eome,  where  he  assisted  at  the  ceremonies  of  the  canonization  of  the  Japa- 
nese Martyrs,  after  which  he  visited  Ireland  on  his  way  back  to  the  United 
States ;  assisted  at  the  laying  of  the  comer-stone  of  the  new  Catholic 
University  in  Dublin,  and  preached  the  sermon  on  the  occasion,  at  which 
nearly  one  hundred  thousand  persons  were  present.  On  his  return  (Septem- 
ber 26th,  1862,)  he  was  the  recipient  of  a  vote  of  thanks  p,dopted  by  both 
branches  of  the  Common  Council  of  the  City  of  New  York,  ex-Senator 
McMurray  making  the  presentation  addresg,  which  was  replied  to  by  his 
Grace,  and  which  was  published  at  the  time  of  its  occurrence.  Shortly, 
after  his  return  from  Europe  he  delivered  a  discourse  in  St.  Patrick's 
Cathedral,  in  which  he  referred  to  his  mission  as  follows :  "  I  had  no 
message  to  deliver.  Another  could  have  carried  the  message ;  but  none 
was  committed  to  me  except  the  message  of  peace — eicept  the  message 
of  explanation — except  the  message  of  correcting  erroneous  ideas — as 
opportunity  might  afford  me  the  chance  of  doing,  in  the  same  spirit  and 
to  the  same  end.  I  have  lost  no  opportunity,  according  to  my  discretion, 
and  that  was  the 'only  qualification  connected  with  my  going.  I  have  lost 
no  opportunity  to  accomplish  these  ends,  to  explain  what  was  misunder- 
stood, to  inspire,  so  far  as  language  of  mine  could  have  that  effect,  the 
spirit  of  peace  and  good-will  unto  the  people  of  foreign  States  towards 
that  one  nation  to  which  I  exclusively  owe  allegiaijpe  and  fidelity.  Tho 
task  was  not  so  easy  as  some  might  have  anticipated ;  its  accomplishment 
has  not  been  so  successful  as  I  could  have  desired.  Nevertheless,  I  trust 
that,  directly  or  indirectly,  my  going  abroad,  in  great  part  for  the  purpose 
of  aiding  the  country,  has  not  been  altogether  without  effect." 

On  the  1st  of  November,  1863,  Archbishop  Hughes  wrote  a  letter  to  Mr. 
Seward,  Secretary  of  State,  concerning  his  European  mission,  in  which  he 
said  :  "  What  occurred  on  the  other  side  I  think  it  would  be,  at  present, 
improper  for  me  to  make  public.  T  am  not  certain  that  any  word,  or  act, 
or  influence  of  mine  has  had  the  slightest  effect  in  preventing  either  Eng- 
land or  France  from  plunging  into  the  unhappy  divisions  that  have 
tlireatened  the  Union  of  these  once  prosperous  States.     On  the  other  hand, 


I  may  say  that  no  day — no  hour  even^ — was  spent  in  Europe  in  Tvhicli  I 
did  not,  according  to  opportunity,  labor  for  peace  between  Europe  and 
America.  So  far  that  peace  has  not  been  disturbed.  But  let  America  be 
prepared.  There  is  no  love  for  the  United  States  on  the  other  side  of  the 
water.  Generally  speaking,  on  the  other  side  of  the  Atlantic  the  United 
States  are  ignored,  if  not  despised ;  treated  in  conversation  in  the  same 
contemptuous  language  as  we  might  employ  towards  the  inhabitants  of 
the  Sandwich  Islands,  or  "Washington  Territory,  or  Vancouver's  Island,-or 
the  settlements  of  the  Red  River,  or  the  Hudson  Bay  Territory.  .  .  .  From 
tlie  slight  correspondence  between  us,  you  can  bear  me  witness  that  I 
pleaded  in  every  direption  for  the  preservation  of  peace,  so  long  as  the 
slightest  hope  of  the  preservation  remained.  When  all  hope  of  this  kind 
had  passed  away,  I  was  for  a  vigorous  prosecution  of  our  war,  so  that  one 
side  or  the  other  should  find  itself  in  the  ascendency." 

Although  he  did  not  place  much  stress  on  what  he  accomplislied  in 
Europe,  yet  it  is  inferred  from  events  which  have  since  occurred,  that  his 
mission  was  in  great  part  successful.  His  correspondence  with  the  State 
Department,  if  there  were  any,  has  not  been  published.  With  the  remain- 
ing portions  of  his  Grace's  life  our  readers  are  familiar,  as,  in  fact,  most 
of  them  are  with  his  whole  life ;  for  he  was  a  man  dear  to  the  hearts  of 
all  the  Catholics  in  the  land,  and  all  his  sermons,  speecTies,  letters,  etc., 
were  read  with  the  greatest  avidity,  even  by  those  who  differed  from  him 
in  religion.  In  July  last,  when  the  great  riot  was  in  progress.  Archbishop 
Hughes  was  requested  by  the  Governor  to  address  the  people  of  his  faith, 
and  thus  assist  in  restoring  peace.  He  consented,  and,  tbough  very  weak, 
spoke  to  an  immense  assemblage  from  the  balcony  of  his  residence,  corner 
of  Madison  Avenue  and  Thirty-fourth  Street.  Since  then  his  health  has 
gradually  failed.  And  Sunday,  January  3d,  1864,  at  seven  o'clock  in  the 
evening,  he  resigned  his  pure  spirit  into  the  hands  of  his  Creator.  The 
last  Sacraments  of  the  Ohirch  were  administered  to  him  by  Father  Quinn, 
of  St.  Peter's,  Barclay  Street,  some  days  previous,  after  which  he  gradually 
sunk,  until  death  relieved  him  of  suffering.  The  immediate  cause  of  his 
death  was  "  Bright's  disease  of  the  kidneys."  He  was  at  the  time  of  his 
death  in  the  sixty-fifth  year  of  his  age. 

His  last  moments  were  marked  by  the  the  calmness  and  resignation  of 
the  true  Christian.  From  eleven  o'clock  on  Saturday  night  until  one 
o'clock  Sunday  afternoon,  no  great  change  was  noticed  in  his  condition. 
He  remained  in  the  most  feeble  state,  unable  scarcely  to  lift  his  hand  or 
utter  a  word  louder  than  a  whisper,  and  that  with  the  utmost  difficulty. 
About  one  o'clock  Sunday  afternoon  he  became  unconscious,  and  lay  in 
that  condition,  with  slight  intervals  of  reason,  until  he  died.  He  was 
surrounded  at  the  solemn  moment  by  Bishop  McCloskey,  of  Albany; 
Bishop  Loughlin,  of  Brooklyn;  Rev.  Dr.  Neligan;  Very  Rev.  Father 
Starrs,  V.  G. ;  Rev.  Francis  McNeirny,  Secretary  of  the  Archbishop; 
Mother  Angela,  Superioress  of  St.  Vincent's  Hospital,  and  Mrs.  Rodrigues 
(both  sisters  of  the  Archbishop) ;  Drs.  James  R.  Wood  and  Alonzo  Clarke, 
and  a  number  of  clergymen  and  friends.    About  two  hours  before  his 


death  he  was  seized  with  a  series  of  slight  spasms,  or  gentle  twitches. 
Father  Starrs  stood  by  his  bedside  reading  ptayers  for  his  happy  death, 
and  all  priesent  joined  in  the  solemn  ceremony.  Bishop  McCloskey  recited 
the  prayers  for  the  departing  spirit,  and  while  the  voices  of  all  were 
repeating,  in  broken  accents,  the  words  of  the  responses,  the  soul  of  the 
illustrious  Archbishop  quitted  its  earthly  tenement.  He  died  without  the 
slightest  evidence  of  pain,  peaceful,  calm,  and  collected.  His  two  sisters 
stood  by  his  bedside  at  the  awful  moment,  and  one  of  them,  Moth^ 
Angela,  who  has  been  for  many  years  a  Sister  of  Charity,  performed  the 
melancholy  office  of  closing  his  eyes.  So  passed  away  one  of  the  greatest 
men  of  the  age.  A  good  Christian,  an  eloquent  speaker,  a  profound 
scholar,  and  a  patriotic  citizen ;  one  who  loved  his  adopted  country 
dearly,  and  whose'  greatest  earthly  ambition,  next  to  his  religion,  was  to 
see  her  the  noblest,  most  powerful,  most  united,  as  she  is  the  freest  nation 
on  the  globe.  In  him  America  has  lost  a  true  citizen,  and  the  Church  ai 
able  defender  and  pious  Divine.    Bequiescat  in  Pace. 



So  much  has  been  written  and  said  about  the  obsequies,  and  ceremonies 
attending  them,  as  well  as  the  "lying  in  state"  of  his  Grace's  remains,  that 
we  think  it  unnecessaiy  to  recapitulate  them  here.  Suffice  it  to  say  that 
the  body  lay  in  state  in  the  grand  aisle  of  the  Cathedral,  for  two  days,  and 
Was  visited  daring  that  time  by  over  200,000  people  of  both  sexes,  many  of 
whom  were  Protestants.  On  Thursday,  January  7th,  1864,  the  last 
ceremonies  of  the  Catholic  Church  were  performed  over  the  mortal  remains 
of  the  Most  Bev.  John  Hughes,  Archbishop  of  New  York.  To  say  that  St. 
Patridt's  Cathedral  was  crowded,  would  convey  but  a  faint  idea  of  the 
state  of  the  building  that  day.  Thousands  could  not  gain  admittance,  and 
had  to  stay  in  the  streets  adjoining  the  building. 

The  scene  within  the  Cathedral  was  one  peculiarly  Catholic  in  all  its 
magnifleent  details — one  which  out  of  the  Catholic  Church  could  not  be 
seen  on  earth.  The  mournful  drapery  that  hung  in  heavy  folds  from  the 
arched  roof  to  the  floor,  wrapping  aisle,  and  arch,  and  column,  wall  and 
doorway,  in  one  sable  veil,  broken  only  by  the  no  less  funereal  white ;  the 
stately  catafalque  occupying  the  centre  aisle,  and  the  statue-like  figure  that 
lay  beneath  its  gorgeous  canopy,  majestic  even  in  death,  yet  placid  and 
calm  to  look  upon — ay  I 

"Calm  as  a  child's  repose j'^ 

the  sanctHairy  and  a  great  part  of  the  grand  aisle  crowded  with  surpliced 
priests,  amongst  whom  wci-e  eight  Bishops  of  the  Church ;  the  sad,  sweet 
music,  swelling  at  times  into  wild  sublimity  of  sound,  filling  the  holy  fane 
with  the  strangely-mournful  "melody  of  sweet  sounds;"  the  vast  concourse 
of  men  and  women  that  filled  every  part  of  the  sacred  edifice — all  conspired 


to  form  a  scene  of  imequaled  grandeur  and  solemnity.  Let  the  reader 
imagine  eight  bishops  and  some  two  hundred  priests,  assembled  from  the 
dioceses  of  Baltimore,  Buffalo,  Portland,  Hartford,  Philadelphia,  Burlington, 
.Boston,  Newark,  Brooklj'n,  Albany,  and  from  all  parts  of  the  Diocese  of 
IsTew  York  ;  Jesuits  were  there,  and  Benedictines,  Augustinians,  Passionists, 
Paulists,  and  Redemptorists,  with  two  Canadian  priests,  sent  by  the  Bishop 
of  Montreal  to  represent  the  Church  of  Canada.  In  addition  to  these  were 
present  in  the  body  of  the  Church  a  large  number  of  the  Sisters  of  Charity 
and  Sisters  of  Mercy,  with  several  of  the  Christian  Brothers.  So  much  for 
the  Clergy  and  the  Religious  Orders.  Amongst  the  Societies  represented 
were  those  of  St.  Vincent  de  Paul  and  the  Xavier  Alumni  Association. 

The  City  of  New  York  was  represented  by  its  Mayor,  Comptroller,  Sheriff, 
and  the  whole  Municipal  Council ;  the  Army  by  two  Majors-General  and 
three  Brigadiers-General,  with  many  other  distinguished  officers.  The 
legal  profession  was  represented  by  several  judges  and  eminent  lawyers, 
among  whom  were  Judges  Daly,  White,  Sutherland,  &c.  Richard 
O'Gorman,  John  McKeon,  Thurlow  Weed  and  several  other  distinguished 
gentlemen  were  present  at  the  cei'emonies. 

At.  ten  o'clock  precisely  the  procession  of  Bishops  and  Priests  entered  the 
Cathedral,  and  assembled  round  the  high  altar,  chanting  the  "  Office  for 
the  Dead."  The  Bishops  were  McCloskey,  Albany;  Wood,  Philadelphia; 
Timon,  Buffalo ;  Loughlin,  Brooklyn ;  Bayley,  Newark ;  De  Goesbriand, 
Burlington ;  McFarland,  Hartford,  and  Bacon,  Portland.  There  were 
nearly  two  hundred  priests  in  and  near  the  sanctuary ;  amongst  them  were 
Very  Picv.  W.  Starrs,  V.  G.,  Administrator;  Archdeacon  McCarron,  Rev. 
Messrs.  Preston,  Quin,  Cummings,  D.  D.,  E.  McGuire,  McSweney,  D.  D.,  P. 
McGuire,  Curran,  McK^na,  Brennan,  C.  O'Callaghan,  Trainor,  Boyce, 
Hriady,  P.  Farrell,  T.  Farrell,  Nobriga,  McClosky,  Everett,  Mooney,  Brady, 
Birdsall,  D.  D.  ;  Morrogh,  D.  D. ;  Ferrall,  Loyzance,  S.  J. ;  Daubresse,  S.  J. ; 
Megnard,  S.  J. ;  Schneider,  S.  J. ;  McAleer,  Orsenigo,  Larkin,  Lafont, 
Gambosville,  Donnelly,  Teixchiera,  Dautuer,  Rudolphi,  McCarty,  Egan, 
Clowry,  McNulty,  McMahon,  McEvoy,  Nicot,  Hecker,  Hewit,  Brophy,  Breen, 

Madden,  Dowling,  R.  Brennan,  Barry,  Farelly,  Kinsella,  Lynch,  Neligan, 
D.  D.,  of  the  Diocese  of  New  York. 

Turner,  V.  G. ;  McGuire,  McDonnell,  Keegan,  Farrell,  McGovem,  Fagan, 
Malone,  Pise,  D.  D. ;  O'Neil,  Franscioli,  Bohan,  McKenna,  Gleason,  Crowley, 
Creightou,  McLoughlin,  O'Beirne,  Mclnroe,  Farrelly,  McGorrisk,  Goetz, 
Huber,  Freel,  of  the  Diocese  of  Brooklyn. 

Very  Rev.  O'Hara,  V.  G. ;  Rev.  A.  McConomy,  Chancellor ;  Sheridan 
Mcnahan,  Stanton,  O.  S.  A. ;  McLoughlin,  Crane,  O.  S.  A. ;  Dunn,  McAnany' 
Ivieran,  Lane,  McGovem,  Riordan,  Fitzmaurice,  Whitty,  Hasplin,  Davis 
of  the  Diocese  of  Philadelphia.        '  ' 

Moran,  V.  G. ;  Doane,  Secretary ;  Kelly,  J.  McQuade,  Hickey,  J.  Moran 
Preitl),  Hogan,  Corrigan,  Cauvain,  Hogan,  Venuta,  De   Concillio  Brann 
Hennesy,  Madden,  Lasko,  Rogers,  McKay,  McNulty,  Smith,  Victor,  Bi^oio' 
Callan,   Bowles,   Senez,  and  a  number  of  Passionists  of  the  Diocese'  of 

Oonroy,  V.  G. ;  Wadhams,  O'Neil,  Doran,  Noethen,  Havermans,  Daly 
McLoughlin,  of  the  Diocese  of  Albany.  ' 


"Williams,  V.  GoMcElroy,  S.  J.;  Healy,  Chancellor  of  the  Diocese  of  Boston. 

Very  Rev.  W.  O'Reilly,  Synnott,  Oreighton,  Hughes,  Thomas  Walsh,  Daly, 
O'Brien,  Wahh,  Smyth,  W.  J.  O'Reilly,  Sheridan,  De  Brucyker,  of  the  Diocese 
of  Hartford. 

Rev.  Mr.  Pare,  Secretary  to  the  Bishop  of  Montreal.     Rev.  Canon  Valois, 
of  Montreal.     Thomas  Foley,  Chancellor,  and  B.  McColgan,  of  the  Diocese  of 
Baltimore.     The  Irish  Chm-cla  was  respectably  and  fitly  represented  on  the 
mournful  occasion  by  Rev.  D.  "VV.  Cahill,  D.D. ;  Rev.  P.  Conway,  Headford,- 
Tuam,  and  Rev.  Mr.  McKenna,  of  the  Diocese  of  Derry. 

The  Solemn  Mass  of  Requiem  was  celebrated  by  Bishop  Timon,  assi-sted  by 
Father  Starrs  as  Assistant  Priest ;  Rev.  Messrs.  Quinn  and  Preston,  Deacon 
and  Subdeacon ;  Rev.  Messrs.  McNeirny  and  Farrell,  Masters  of  Ceremonies. 
.4.fter  Mass  the  Right  Rev.  Bishop  McCloskey  ascended  the  pulpit,  and  read 
for  his  text  7th  and  8th  verses.  Chapter' IV.,  of  the  Second  Epistle  of  St.  Paul 
to  Timothy. 


I  have  fought  a  g;ood  fight;  I  have  finished  ray  course  ;  I  have  kept  the  faith.  For 
the  rest,  there  is  laid  up  for  me  a  crown  of  justice,  which  the  Lord,  the  just  Judge,  will 
render  to  me  at  that  day;  and  not  to  me  only,  but  to  them  also  who  love  His  coming. 

If  ever  the  words  of  the  living  would  seem  to  issue  forth  or  be  echoed  back 
from  the  lips  of  the  dead,  it  is  now,  when  these  words  which  I  have  just  uttered 
would  appear  rather  as  proceeding  from  the  mouth  of  the  illustrious  departed 
prelate,  whose  venerated  form,  still  clothed  in  all  the  insignia  of  his  high  and 
sacred  ofBce,  lies  here  before  us  in  placid  dignity  and  calm  repose.  Still  we 
fancy  we  hear  him  saying,  "  I  have  fought  the  good  fight ;  I  have  finished  my 
course  ;  I  have  kept  the  faith.  For  the  rest,  there  is  laid  up  for  me  a  crown 
of  justice,  which  the  just  Judge,  the  Lord,  shall  render  to  me."  When  these 
words,  beloved  brethren,  were  first  spoken,  or  rather  written,  by  the  great 
Apostle  of  the  Gfentiles,  it  v/asnot,  as  we  know,  in  any  spirit  of  boastfulness  or 
self-praise.  They  were  meant  simply  as  the  earnest  expression  of  the  con- 
sciousness which  he  felt  that  the  term  of  his  mortal  labors  was  nearly  expired; 
that  hi?  work  was  iinished ;  that  his  course  was  run ;  and  tha^  now,  steadfast 
in  the  faith,  firm  in  hope,  he  only  awaited  the  summons  of  his  Divine  Master 
which  should  call  him  to  his  reward.  They  were  intended,  too,  to  give  courage 
and  strength  and  consolation  to  the  heart  of  his  friend  and  fellow-laborer  in  the 
apostleship,  Timothy ;  and  not  only  to  his  heart,  but  to  the  hearts  of  all  his 
well-beloved  spiritual  children  scattered  throughout  the  Church,  that  when  he 
should  have  passed  away  from  earth,  when  they  should  look  upon  his  face  and 
hear  his  voice  no  more,  they  would  not  yield  themselves  up  to  immoderate 
transports  of  grief,  or  indulge  in  tears  of  merely  unavailing  sorrow,  but  that 
they  would  rather  be  sustained  and  comforted  by  that  grand  and  glorious  faith 
which  he  had  preached  to  them ;  by  the  remembrance  of  all  his  services  and  all 
his  labors,  of  how  he  had  toiled  and  endured,  and  suffered  for  them^  and  how 
by  all  this  and  through  all  this  he  had  won  a  great  reward.  So  even  is  it 
now.  Our  heads  indeed  are  bowed  down  in'sorrow,  our  hearts  are  oppressed 
and  overloaded  with  a  mighty  load  of  grief,  because  our  good  and  great  Arch- 
bLshop  is  no  more.  He  whom  we  had  loved  so  well,  he  who  was  our  father  and 
our  benefactor,  our  kind  and  trusted  friend ;  he  who  was  our  pride  and  joy ; 
ho  who  so  long  stood  up  among  us  as  a  pillar  of  safety  and  a  tower  of  strength — 
he  is  no  n\pre.  That  voice  of  eloquence,  those  inspiring  harangues,  thoso 
lessons  of  wisdom,  those  paternal  counsels,  those  earnest  and  ceaseless  exhor- 
tations -wli^h  so  often  deUghted  our  ears,  instructed  our  mSids,  filled  with 
transports  of  joy  our  hearts— all  this  we  shall  hear  no  more.    And  we  would 


be  tempted  to  yield  ourselves  up  solely  to  the  emotions  of  our  grief  were  itnot 
that  we  do  still  think  that  we  hear  him  say,  "  Weep  not,  dear  children,  grieve 
not  for  me.  Be  comforted  by  the  thought  that  I  have  fought  the  good  f  ght ;  the 
work  that  was  given  me  to  accomplish  has  been  finished.  I  have  run  my  course ;  I 
have  kept  the  faith.  I  now  simply  await  my  crown."  Our  loss,  indeed,  beloved 
brethren,  is  great.  How  great,  how  deeply  and  sincerely  felt,  has  been  made 
manifest  by  all  that  has  been  presented  to  our  eyes  since  the  moment  his  spirit 
took  its  flight  from  this  lower  world,  by  all  those  manifestations  of  love  and 
gratitude  and  highest  feeling  which  a  devoted  people  have  been  paying  by 
.  hundreds  and  thousands,  day  after  day,  in  pressing  forward  to  show  their  last 
tribute  of  respect  even  to  his  cold  remains,  and  to  look  upon  his  face  once  more 
for  the  last  time.  And  it  is  not  our  loss  alone,  not  the  loss  of  a  single  congre- 
gation or  a  single  diocese,  but  it  is  a  loss  of  the  whole  Church,  a  loss  felt  by 
every  Catholic  heart  throughout  the  land.  For  we  do  not  doubt,  we  cannot 
doubt,  that  when  the  electric  spark  carried  with  its  lightning  speed  tidings  of 
his  death  throughout  the  length  and  breadth  of  the  country,  it  thrilled  every 
heart,  especially  every  Catholic  heart,  with  a  pang  of  agony.  And  it  filled  all 
breasts,  even  those  who  were  not  of  the  same  church  or  faith,  with  sentiments 
of  deep  and  sincere  regret.  His  fame  and  his  name,  and  his  services,  too,  were 
of  the  whole  country ;  and,  I  may  say,  of  the  whole  world.  He  stood  forward 
pre-eminently  as  the  great  Prelate  of  the  Church  in  this  country,  as  its  able 
and  heroic  champion,  as  the  defender  of  its  faith,  as  the  advocate  of  its  rights,  as 
the  ever-vigilant  guardian  of  its  honor.  He  was  not  only  a  great  prelate,  but 
he  was  a  great  man ;  one  who  has  left  his  mark  upon  the  age  in  which  he  lived, 
one  who  has  made  an  impression  upon  every  Catholic  mind  in  this  country 
which  time  can  never  efface.  Of  such  a  life  and  such  a  character,  and  such  a 
history,  beloved  brethren,  it  would  not  be  possible  for  me  to  speak  in  any 
adequate  or  becoming  manner  at  this  solemn  and  mournful  moment.  I  cannot 
disguise  from  myself,  I  cannot  disguise  froai  you,  that  I  would  at  any  time, 
and  least  of  all  a  time  like  this,  be  wholly  unequal  to  the  task.  But  on  a 
future  and  more  fitting  opportunity,  on  what  is  called  the  "Month's  Mind," 
due  justice,  we  cannot  doubt,  will  be  given  to  that  character  and  to  that  life, 
and  to  those  heroic  deeds  and  mighty  services,  by  one  more  fit  and  more  com- 
petent for  the  task.  I  am  here  simply  to  mingle  my  sympathies  with  yours, 
merely  to  unite  with  you  in  paying  to  our  Archbishop  upon  this  day  the  tribute 
not  only  of  our  sincere  admiration  and  deepest  veneration  and  respect,  tut  also, 
and  still  more,  the  tribute  of  our  heartfelt  gratitude  and  love.  It  was,  beloved 
brethren— as  many  of  you  may  remember — it  was  on  this  day,  the  next  after 
the  solemn  feast  of  the  Epiphany,  just  twenty-six  years  ago,  that  that  same 
form  that  is  here  before  us,  motionless,  cold  in  death,  stood  up  in  the  sanc- 
tuary and  before  the  altar  of  this  Cathedral,  nearly,  almost  precisely,  upon  the 
very  spot  where  those  remains  now  are— for  this  Cathedral  was  not  as  spacious 
then  as  now — stood  up  in  all  the  fullness  of  health  and  vigor,  in  all  the  freshness 
and  maturity  of  great  intellectual  as  well  as  physical  strength  and  power,  and 
then  knelt  before  the  venerable  Bishop  Dubois  to  become  a  consecrated  Bishop 
on  that  day.  The  holy  unctions  were  poured  upon  his  head,  the  hands  of 
bishops  v^ere  imposed,  solemn  prayers  of  the  Church  were  recited,  the  mitre 
was  placed  upon  his  brow,  the  ring  upon  his  finger,  the  crozier  within  his 
hand,  and  he  rose  up  to  take  his  place  from  henceforth  and  to  the  end  among 
the  Bishops  of  the  Catholic  Church.  I  well  remember  that  grand  and  imposmg 
scene,  contrasting  so  mournfully  with  that  which  is  now  before  me.  I  remember 
Ihow  all  eyes  were  fij^pd,  how  all  eyes  were  strained  to  get  a  glimpse  of  their 
aiewly  consecrated  Bishop ;  and  as  they  saw  that  dignified  and  manly  coun- 
tenance, as  they  beheld  those  features  beaming  with  the  light*  of  inte'lect, 
Ijearing  already  upon  them  the  impress  of  that  force  of  character  which 
jieculiarly  marked  him  throughout  his  hfe,  that  firmness  of  resolution    that 


unalterable  and  unbending  will,  and  yet  blending  at  the  same  time  that  great 
benignity  and  suavity  of  expression — when  they  marked  the  quiet  composure 
and  self-possession  of  every  look  and  every  gesture  of  his  whole  gait  and 
demeanor — all  hearts  were  drawn  and  warmed  towards  him.  Every  pulse 
within  that  vast  assembly,  both  of*  clergy  and  of  laity,  was  quickened  with  a 
higher  sense  of  courage  and  of  hope.  Every  breast  was  filled  with  joy,  and, 
as  it  were,  with  a  new  and  younger  might.  Great  expectations,  indeed,  had 
already  been  formed.  We  had  heard  of  him  before.  We  had  heard  of  him  as 
the  pastor  of  St.  John's  Church  of  Philadelphia — of  his  great  eloquence  as  a 
preacher — of  his  powerful  arguments  in  discussion,  in  controversy,  in  debate ; 
and  we  all  looked  forward  with  joy  and  longing  expectation  to  the  career  upon 
which  he  was  just  now  entering.  Those  hopes  were  not  disappointed ;  those 
expectations  were  even  more  than  fully  realized.  It  was  with  the  greatest 
reluctance  that  the  then  young  bishop  had  consented  to  accept  the  dignily  that 
had  been  offered  to  him.  There  was  a  trying  and  delicate  task  before  him. 
His  humility  and  his  modesty  shrank  from  it,  and  it  was  only  in  obedience  to 
the  call  of  his  superiors  and  the  voice  of  the  Church  that  he  bowed  in  sub- 
mission to  please  the  holy  will  of  God.  But  once  having  put  his  hand  to  the 
plough,  he  never  looked  back.  From  that  hour  and  from  that  moment  all  the 
great  energy  of  his  mind,  heart,  soul,  and  of  his  whole  being,  was  devoted  to 
the  great'  work  which  was  before  him.  He  was  wUling  to  spend  and  to  be 
spent  for  Christ.  He  thought  never  of  himself,  he  thought  only  of  the  Church 
of  which  he  wlis  the  consecrated  prelate,  of  the  religion  and  the  interests 
of  religion  which  had  been  intrusted  to  his  keeping.  Never  did  he  fail  or 
falter  in  fldeUty  to  his  trust.  We  all  know  how  soon  the  work,  if  it  may 
be  so  called,  of  regeneration  commenced. 

The  good  and  venerable  Bishop  Dubois,  bowed  down  by  years,  was  too 
glad  to  yield  the  government  of  such  a  vast  diocese  into  younger  and 
stronger  hands.  Soon  we  felt,  and  all  felt,  that  the  reins  of  administration 
were  held  by  a  masterly,  and  a  firm,  and  at  the  same  time,  a  prudent  and 
a  skillful  grasp.  Immediately  we  saw  the  evidence  everywhere  around  us 
of  the  power  of  his  mind,  and  the  wisdom  of  his  judgment,  and  the  disin- 
terestedness and  single-heartedness  of  his  zeal.  I  will  not  attempt  to  enter 
into  any  details.  For,  as  I  have  said  before,  this  is  not  the  time  nor  the 
occasion.  It  is  enough  for  us  to  remember,  because  it  is  within  the  memory 
of  all,  what  the  Diocese  of  New  York,  the  Catholic  Church  within  the 
State  of  New  York,  or  I  may  say  of  this  country,  was  when  he  commenced 
his  career  as  Bishop  of  this  great  See,  and  what  it  was  when  he  laid  down 
his  honors  at  the  foot  of  his  Divine  Master,  to  bid  us  his  last  farewell. 
There  are  five  dioceses  now  where  there  was  then  but  one;  clergymen 
count  by  hundreds  where  they  were  before  numbered  by  tens ;  churches, 
institutions  of  charity,  of  religion,  of  learning,  springing  up  on  every  side; 
the  whole  character  of  the  Catholic  people  raised  and  elevated  till  it  seemed 
that,  from  the  eminence  on  which  he  stood  himself,  he  raised  up  all  his 
people  towards  him.  Great  works  had  been  commenced  and  finished  by 
him.  Noble  works  had  been  commenced,  but  not  given  to  him  to  com- 
plete. One  of  the  last  acts  of  his  life,  as  you  remember,  was  the  laying  of 
the  foundation-stone  of  his  noble -Cathedral.  He  did  not  expect,  he  did 
not  promise  himself  the  joy  and  pleasure  of  living  to  see  its  full  completion. 
But  he  intended  that  he  should  begin  it,  that  he  should  lay  its  broad 
foundation-stone — that  he  would  leave  to  a  devoted  clergy  and  to  a  loving 
and  generous  people  to  carry  it  on,  to  raise  it  up  and  stand  it  there  as  the 
ever-living  and  undying  monument  to  his  memory  and  to  his  name.  It  was 
not  to  be  expected  that  the  life  of  such  a  great  laborer  would  be  carried  to 
very  many  years.  He  sank  under  the  weight  of  his  cares  and  his  too  great 
toil.    He  had  oyertaxed,  many  a  time  and  oft,  both  his  physical  and  his  men- 


tal  powers ;  and  strong  and  vigorous  as  they  were,  in  the  end  they  had  to 
succumb.  He  was  in  feeble  health  for  the  last  four  or  five  years  of  his  hie. 
Yet  his  mind  was  strong,  and  clear,  and  vigorous  as  ever.  Still  heknew 
his  strength  was  failing,  that  the  term  of  his  mortal  career  was  drawing  to 
an  end.  When  the  announcement  was  made  to  him  that  his  disea,se  had 
reached  its  crisis,  and  there  was  no  longer  hope  of  life,  he  received  it  with 
the  same  calm  courage  and  composure  as  he  would  the  announcement  of 
any  ordinary  intelligence.  Immediately  he  prepaTed  himself.  -The  confes- 
sor was  sent  for.  He  made  his  confession  with  all  the  humility  of  a  child. 
He  received  and  was  fortified  by  the  last  Sacraments  of  his  Church.  Then 
he  awaited  calmly  and  peaceably  the  summons  of  his  Lord.  He  spent  his 
last  day  simply  in  communing  with  his  heart  and 'his  God.  He  uttered 
but  fiysr  words.  He  gave  a  loving  look  of  recognition  to  his  friends  who 
came  and  stood  by  his  bedside.  He  spoke  by  his  looks,  not  by  his  lips. 
After  an  illness  not  very  long,  after  a  brief  struggle,  he  returned  his  great 
and  noble  spirit  to  his  God.  He  died  full  of  years  and  full  of  honors, 
leaving  behind  him  a  record  which  no  prelate  of  the  Church  in  this 
country  has  ever  left  before,  or  will  ever  leave  again.  For  it  can  be  said 
without  any  invidiousness  that  he  stood  out  prominently  and  pre-eminently, 
as  we  have  already  said,  as  the  great  prolate  of  the  American  Church.  He 
stood  forth  as  its  representative,  as  its  advocate,  and  its  defender;  and  a,!l 
recognized  his  superior  power  and  his  great  ability.  In  looking  back  now 
upon  that  life  through  the  softened  and  gentle  lustre  which  death  has 
ahready  thrown  around  it,  it  seems  to  rise  up — its  character  appears  to  rise 
up  in  even  colossal  sublimity  and  grandeur.  All  former  prejudices  are 
forgotten,  all  animosities  laid  aside,  all  differences  and  collisions,  either  of 
ciews  or  feelings  and  opinions,  all  melt  and  fall  away  in  that  august,  and 
imposing,  and  venerable  presence.  We  think  only  of  the  great  prelate  and 
the  great  man,  of  his  mighty  deeds,  of  his  unequaled  services  to  the  Church ; 
we  think  only  of  the  rare  endowments  of  his  mind  and  heart,  and  how  fully 
and  unreservedly  they  were  devoted  to  the  cause  of  his  Divine  Master.  If 
I  may  be  permitted  to  say  it,  there  was  one  trait  that  distinguished  our 
great  Archbishop  most  particularly.  It  was  his  singular  force,  and  clear- 
ness, and  vigor  of  intellect,  his  strength  of  will  and  his  firmness  of  resolution. 
He  was  a  stranger  to  fear.  His  heart  was  full  of  undaunted  courage.  In 
the  presence  of  difliculties  and  dangers,  his  energies  only  seemed  to  be 
roused  to  greater  strength  and  higher  exertion.  He  never  quailed  before 
the  presence  of  any  difficulty,  or  any  danger,  or  any  trial ;  not  that  he 
trusted  wholly  and  solely  on  himself.  He  trusted  in  his  cause,  and  he 
trusted  in  that  God  to  whose  service  he  had  pledged  himself  and  devoted 
his  entire  being.  With  these  rare  endowments  of  mind  were  combined 
also  the  gentler  and  more  captivating  qualities  of  the  heart.  He  was  to  us 
all  the  kindest  of  fathers ;  he  was  to  us  the  most  faithful  of  friends  His 
heart  was  full  of  tenderness  for  the  poor,  and  for  the  oppressed,  and  for  the 
afflicted.  It  was  full,  too,  of  gentle  warmth  and  sunshine;  and  if  there 
appeared  at  times  an  occasional  tinge  of  severity  belonging  to  his  character 
It  w;as  not  the  natural  temper  of  the  man.  The  genuine  impulses  and 
feelings  of  his  heart  were  all  impulses  of  kindness  and  of  pity  He  knew 
no  selfishness.  He  despised  everything  that  was  mean  and  little  He 
could  never  stoop  to  any  low  trickery  or  artifice  in  his  dealings  with  men. 
He  was  unselfish  and  disinterested  in  everything  that  he  undertook  for 
the  cause  of  the  people  m  every  service  he  rendered  either  to  relitrion  or  to 
his  country.  _  And  we  have  this  to  say  in  conclusion,  that  if  ever Ihere  was 
a  man  who,  m  the  whole  history  and  character  of  his  life,  impressed  unon 
us  the  sense  and  the  conviction  that  he  had  been  raised  up  by  God  was, 
chosen  as  His  instrument  to  do  an  appointed  w  frk,  and  was  streno-thcned 


by  His  grace  and  supported  by  His  -wisdom  for  the  accomplishment  of  the 
■work  for  which  he  had  been  chosen  and  appointed,  that  man  was  Arch- 
bishop Hughes.  He  was,  from  the  beginning  until  the  end,  clearly  and 
plainly  an  instrument  in  the  hands  of  God.  Such  he  felt  himself;  as  such 
ho  lived ;  as  such  he  died.  For  us,  beloved  brethren,  there  remains  now 
only  the  last  debt  of  affection  and  filial  duty,  which  is  to  jn-ay  for  the 
eternal  repose  of  his  soul.  "We  do  not  claim  for  him,  we  do  not  claim  for 
any  man,  no  matter  how  exalted  in  the  Church,  exemption  from  human 
frailty  and  human  infirmity.  lie  parted  from  this  world,  as  we  have  said, 
tranquil,  and  prepared  by  all  the  Sacraments  of  the  Church,  by  a  life  of 
sincere  and  unostentatious  piety,  by  a  heart  truly  devoted  to  his  God.  But 
still,  if  through  human  frailty  there  should  yet  remain  some  stain  upon  that 
great  soul  to  be  expiated  and  washed  away  before  it  Will  be  so  pure  and 
undefiled  as  to  be  worthy  to  enter  the  presence  of  God,  oh,  let  us  give  to 
_  Jiira,  with  all  our  earnest  faith,  all  our  heartfelt  suffrages  and  prayers.  For 
our  faith  teaches,  a;nd  it  is  our  beautiful  and  consoling  belief,  that  though 
parted  in  the  body,  our  spirits  are  still  united,  and  that  we  may  still  love 
him,  may  still  pray  for  him,  aye,  even  perhaps  be  able  to  aid  him  by  our 
poor,  but  humble  and  earnest  prayer.  You,  my  brother  prelates  of  the 
Church  of  God,  will  especially  pray  for  him;  we  who  have  toiled  and 
labored  by  his  side — we  who  knew  him  well,  who  were  so  often  assisted  by 
his  counsels  and  aided  by  his  wisdom,  let  us  pi-ay  for  him.  And  you 
faithful  and  venerable  pastors  and  clergy  of  the  Archdiocese,  upon  many 
of  whom'  he  has  laid  his  venerable  hands,  to  whom  you  have  so  long  looked 
to  as  }'our  comfort  and  your  pride,  do  you  pray  for  him.  And  you  holy 
virgins  of  the  Church,  spouses  of  Jesus  Christ,  dp  you  pray  for  him.  And 
you  little  ones,  fatherless  and  motherless,  orphans  in  the  Church,  he  was 
your  loving  parent  and  generous  benefactor ;  pray  for  him.  Catholics, 
one  and  all,  rich  and  poor,  high. and  low,  of  every  rank  and  every  condition,, 
you  o\YC  him  a  debt  of  gratitude  you  never  can  repay;  at  least,  oh  pray 
for  him.  JRequlem  mtermim' dana  eis  Domine.  Mb  luxperpetua  luceit  eis. 
Eternal  rest  give  to  him,  oh  Lord,  and  let  perjaetual  light  shine  on  him.  In 
a  moment  more  you  will  bid  adieu  to  what  stMl  remain's  of  him'iiere.  In  a 
moment' more,. with  his  mitre  on  his  head,  clothed  in'the  insignia  of  his 
high  office,  he  will  go,  as  it  were,  in  solemn  procession,  bidding  you  all  a 
last  adieu — go  to  take  his  place  with  the  prelates  who  went  before  him,  and 
who,  beneath  the  vaults  of  this  venerable  Cathedral,  now  sleep  the  sleep  of 
peace.  He  will  go,  and  the  chants  and  prayers  of  the  Church  will  surround 
him  ;  and  as  the  tones  of  that  solemn'  dirge  and  of  those  touching  prayers 
resound  beneath  these  vaults,  we  still  will  fancy  we  hear  in  sad,  responsive 
tones,  commingling  with  them,  and  lingering  still  behind  after  them :  "  I 
have  fought  agood. fight ;  I  have  run  my  course ;  I  have  kept  the  faith ;  I 
now  go  to  receive  my  crown." 

Immediately  after  the  discourse  had  been  delivered  the  solemn  ceremony 
of  the  Absolution'  commenced.  This  was  performed  with  all  the  impres- 
sive and  sacred  formalities  the  ceremony  allows :  .The  Bishops  making  a 
circuit  around  the  catafalque,  three  times,  sprinkling. Holy  Wati3r.,  After 
these  ceremonies  were  gone  tlirough  with,  the  undertakers  then  aijproaehed 
the  catafalque,  and  placed  all  the  floral  wreaths  and  roses  in  the,  coffin. 
Six  clergymen  then  placed  the  coflin  on  their  shouldeijs,  and,, while  the 
clergymen  and  choir  chanted  a  solemn  dirge,  the  remains  were  conveyed 
in  mournful  procession  through  the  Church,  while  the  entire  congregation 
stood  garing  earnestly,  for  the  last  time,  at  the  !face  of  the  Archbishop, 
which  appeared  distinctly  above  the  head  of  the  coffin,  calm  and  peaceful 
in  the  eternal  sleep  of  death.  The  scene  was  such  as  has  never  been  wit- 
nessed in  this  city  before.     There  was  a  sadness  and  a  quiet  solemnity  in 


it  that  struck  the  vast  congregation  with  sorrow  and  awe.  The  feelings 
of  all  were  strung  to  the  highest  pitch,  and  many  a  sob  and  subdued  groan 
was  heard  in  the  midst  of  the  solemn  stillness.  The  procession  moved 
out  of  the  Cathedral  to  the  vault  in  which  repose  the  remains  of  Bishop 
Dubois,  Bishop  Connolly,  and  others  of  the  clergy.  After  depositing  the 
body  in  its  appropriate  place,  the  procession  re-entered  the  Church,  the 
low,  solemn  tones  of  the  De  profundis  swelling  up  through  the  aisles  as  it 
passed  along.  The  remains  of  the  deceased  Archbishop,  however,  will 
not  rest  permaijently  in  their  present  place.  It  is  intended  to  have  a 
magnificent  tomb  for  them  erected  in  the  new  Cathedral,  as  soon  as  it  is 


A  special  meeting  of  the  Board  was  held  on  the  evening  of  the  4th 
Jan.  —present,  Messrs.  John  Kelly,  O'Connor,  O'Donnell,  H.  Kelly,  McKin- 
ley,  Lynch,  Hegan,  Dolin,  and  Carolin.  On  motion,  Mr.  John  Kelly  was 
called  to  the  chair,  and  Mr.  Carolin  acted  as  Secretary.  The  Chairman 
stated  that  the  meeting  had  been  called  for  the  purpose  of  taking  action 
in  reference  to  the  demise  of  the  late  Most  Reverend  Archbishop  Hughes. 
Thereupon,  on  motion,  the  following  gentlemen  were  appointed  to  draw  up 
resolutions  expressive  of  the  feelings  of  the  Board,  and  publish  the  same 
in  such  newspapers  as  they  may  select.  Thereupon  Messrs.  O'Connor  and 
Carolin  were  appointed,  and  to  which  committee  the  chairman  was  added. 
It  was  then  resolved  that  the  Board  form  themselves  into  a  Committee  of 
Arrangements  for  the  funeral  services  on  Thursday,  7th  inst.,  and  that  such 
Committee  meet  in  the  session-room  of  the  Board  on  Thursday,  7th  inst., 
at  eight  o'clock  A.  m.    The  following  resolutions  were  also  adopted : 

Resolved,  That  in  the  death  of  the  Most  Reverend  John  Hughes,  D.  D.,  Arch- 
bishop of  New  York,  the  Roman  CathoUc  Church  laments  the  loss  of  an  illustrious 
prelate  whose  life  was  devoted  to  the  prorrlulgation  of  her  faith,  and  who  by  his 
labors  extended  the  benign  influence  of  her  sacred  teachings. 

Resolved,  That  with  grateful  recognition  we  record  that,  from  the  first  moment 
of  his  entering  upon  the  duties  of  his  mission  in  this  diocese  until  the  close  of  his 
mortal  career,  he  upheld  with  unfaltering  arm  the  banner  of  our  Holy  Church, 
and  zealously  promoted  the  welfare  of  those  confided  to  his  spiritual  care  and 
protection.  The  numerous  churches,  colleges,  seminaries  of  learning  and  religious 
orders,  the  hospitals  and  asylums  called  into  existence  by  his  industry  and  energ)', 
will  long  remain  to  perpetuate  the  memory  of  his  religious  zeal  and  the  benevo- 
lence of  his  heart. 

Resolved,  That  we  recall  with  pride  the  many  instances  in  which  our  Most  Rev- 
erend Archbishop  stood  forth  as  the  champion  of  our  Faith,  of  Education,  and 
Civil  and  Religious  Liberty  ;  illustrating  in  his  career  the  virtues  of  a  Pastor 
attached  to  his  flock,  and  the  ability  of  a  Statesman  anxious  for  the  welfare  of  his 
country.  Exiled  in  early  life  from  the  land  of  his  birth,  he  deeply  sympathized 
with  her  sufferings  and  sorrow,  his-  eloquent  and  powerful  voice  being  always 
raised  in  advocacy  of  her  rights  and  in  indignation  against  her  wrongs.  The 
land  of  his  adoption  will  cherish  the  remembrance  of  his  disinterested  patriotism 
and  devotion  to  her  interests  and  honor. 

Resolved,  That  while  we  bow  in  humility  to  the  dispensation  of  the  Almighty, 
who  has  taken  from  us  our  beloved  Pastor,  we  are  consoled  by  the  reflectioiTthat 
the  memory  of  his  virtues  and  labors  will  endure  to  animate  those  who  are  to 
follow  him  in  the  great  mission  of  charity,  education,  and  of  our  holy  reho-ion, 
with  his  spirit  of  devotion  to  the  advancement  of  our  holy  faith  and  the  greater 
glory  of  God. 

All  the  Courts  in  session  in  this  city  adjourned  from  Wednesday  to 


Friday,  out  of  respect  to  the  illustrious  dead,  and  in  order  tliat  the 
judges,  lawyers,  and  jurors  might  be  able  to  attend  the  funeral  ceremonies 
ou  Thursday.  Nearly  all  our  city  judges,  in-espective  of  religion,  attended 
the  obsequies. 

On  Monday,  January  4th,  Mayor  Gunther  sent  in  a  message  to  both 
Boards  of  the  City  Government  announcing  the  death  of  Archbishop 
Hughes,  and  recommending  that  some  action  be  taken  in  refererice  to  it. 
Accordingly,  a  special  meeting  of  the  Aldermen  and  Councilmen  took 
place  on  Wednesday  evening,  January  6th,  when  preamble  and  resolutions 
were  read  and  adopted.    It  was  resolved  in  the  Board  of  Councilmen  : 

That,  la  the  death  of  John  Hughes,  Archbishop  of  New  York,  the  country  is 
called  upon  to  mourn  the  loss  of  a  conservative,  influential,  and  enlightened 
citizen ;  the  City  of  New  York  has  lost  a  great  and  good  man ;  the  numerous, 
intelligent  and  conservative  denomination  of  Christians,  of  which  he  was  the 
acknowledged  head  in  this  country,  has  lost  a  wise,  zealous,  and  indefatigable 
advocate  and  guide ;  the  religion  of  which  he  was  such  a  conscientious  and  devoted 
disciple  has  lost  an  able  and  powerful  advocate,  and  in  its  peculiar  tenfets,  a 
learned  expounder. 

Resolved,  That  out  of  respect  for  the  memory  of  the  deceased  prelate,  and  in 
consideration  of  his  private  virtues  and  public  services,  this  Common  Council 
will  attend  his  funeral  in  a  body,  with  their  staffs  of  office  draped  in- mourning  ; 
that  they  will  cause  the  flags  to  be  displayed  at  half  mast  on  the  City  HaU  and 
the  other  public  buildings  on  the  day  set  apart  for  the  funeral  rites  and  cere- 
monies ;  that  the  public  buildings  and  offices  of  the  Corporation  be  closed  on 
that  day,  and  that  a  special  committee  of  five  members  from  each  Board  be 
appointed  to  make  the  necessary  arrangements  for  attending  the  obsequies. 

It  was  also  resolved  that  a  copy  of  the  preamble  and  resolutions  be 
engrossed  and  sent  to  Father  Starrs.  The  same  resolutions  were  adopted 
by  the  Board  of  Aldermen,  and  both 'attended  the  obsequies,  accompanied 
by  the  Mayor. 

The  Trustees  of  the  Cathedral  extended  invitations  to  the  following  to 
attend  the  obsequies :  Sisters  of  Eeligious  Orders ;  President  of  the 
United  States  and  Cabinet ;  Governor  of  the  State  of  New  York  and 
Staff;  Foreign  Dignitaries  ;  Members  of  Judiciary ;  Members  of  the  Legis- 
lature ;  Mayor  and  Officers  of  the  Common  Council ;  B^rd  of  Supervis- 
ors ;  Board  of  Education ;  Heads  of  Departments  ;  Commissioners  of 
Charities  and  Correction  ;  Dissenting  Clergymen ;  Gen.  John  A.  Dix  and 
Staff;  Gen.  Hays  and  Staff;  Army  and  Navy  Officers ;  Delegations  from 
Medical  Societies ;  Representatives  of  Jesuit  Colleges  ;  Delegation  of  St 
Vincent  de  Paul  Society  ;  Distinguished  Catholics  ;  Distinguished  Protest- 
ants ;  Strangers  from  abroad.  All  of  the  above  persons  invited  did  not 
attend.  Neither  the  President  and  Cabinet,  nor  the  Governor  of  New 
York  were  present,  as  we  presume  their  respective  duties  would  not  allow 
them  to  be  absent.  The  State  Legislature  at  Albany  passed  resolutions  in 
regard  to  the  death  of  the  Archbishop.  They  were  passed,  after  some 
opposition  from  a  Mr.  Douglass,  of  Oneida  County,  by  a  vote  of  76  yeas 
to  14  nays.  The  Commissioners  of  "  Public  Charities  and  Correction" 
held  a  meeting  on  the  7th  Jan.,  and  passed  resolutions  of  regret  at  the 
death  of  the  iirchbishop,  and  voted  to  attend  the  obsequies  in  a  body. 



The  following  letters  were  received  in  reply  to  invitations  to  attend  the 
obsequies  of  the  Most  Reverend  Archbishup  : 

From  the  President. 
Dbpaiitmbnt  of  State,  "Washington,  Jan.  13,  1864. 
Venj  jRei\  Wm.  Starrs,  Administrator  of  the  Diocese  of  Neio  TorJc  : 

Very  Rev.  and  Dear  Sir,— The  President  of  the  United  States  has 
put  into  my  hands  the  invitation  to  the  funeral  obsequies  of  the  late  Arch- 
bishop Hughes,  with  which  he  was  favored  by  you.  While  it  was  impossi- 
ble for  him  to  accept  the  invitation,  he  has,  nevertheless,  earnestly  desired 
to  find  some  practicable  mode  of  manifesting  the ,  sorrow  with  which  he 
received  intelligence  of  that  distinguished  Prelate^s  demise,  and  his  sym- 
pathy with  his  countrymen,  and  with  the  religious  communion  over  which 
the  deceased  presided,  in  their  great  bereavement.  I  have,  therefore,  on 
his  behalf,  to  request  that  you  will  make  known  in  such  manner  as  will 
seem  to  you  most  appropriate,  that  having  formed  the  Archbishop's 
acquaintance  in  the  earliest  days  of  our  country's  present  troubles,  his 
counsel  and  advice  were  gladly  sought  and  continually  received  by  the 
'  Grovernment  on  those  jooints  which  his  position  enabled  him  better  than 
others  to  consider.  At  a  conjuncture  of  deep  interest  to  the  country,  the 
Archbishop,  associated  with  others,  went  abroad  and  did  the  nation  a 
service  there,  with  all  the  loyalty,  iidelity,  and  practical  wisdom  which, 
'oa  so  many  other  occasions,  illustrated  his  great  ability  for  administration. 
Humbly  hoping  that  the  loss  which  the  Church  and  the  State  have  sus- 
tained in  the  removal  of  the  Head  of  your  Arch  diocese,  may,  through  the 
blessing  of  God,  be  repaired,  so  that  what  has  been  an  unspeakable  gain 
to  him  may  not  be  a  permanent  cause  of  sorrow  to  them, 

I  have  the  honor  to  be,  respectfully,  your  obedient  servant, 


From  Hon.  Wm.  H.  Seward. 

Washington,  January  5,  1864. 
V^ry  Uev.  Wm.  Starrs,  Administrator  of  the  Diocese  of  New  Yorh : 

Vert  Rev.  and  Dear  Sir, — I  regret  more  deeply  than  I  can  eSpress 
that  indispensable  official  engagements  will  deprive  me  of  the  sad  satisfac- 
tion of  attending  the  obsequies  of  the  late  Archbishop,  and  thus  manifest- 
ing, in  the  only  way  now  possible,  the  respect  and  affection  which  I  have.. 
BO  long  cherished  towards  him  as  a  faithful  friend,  a  pious  prelate,  a  loyal, 
patriot,  a  great  and  a  good  man. 

W.  H.  SEWARD.  .  ' 

From  lion.  Horatio  Seymour,  Oovei~nor  of  the  State  of  New  Yorh: 

State  av  New  York,  Executive  Department,  ) 
Albany,  January  5,  1864.  j 

Very  Rev.  Wm.  Starrs,  Administrator  of  the  Diocese  of  New  York  : 

Vert  Rav.  Dear  Sift, — I  have  received  youi-  announcement  of  the 
death  of  Archbishop  Hughes,  and  your  invitation  to  attend  his  funeraL 


As  the  Legislatni-G  has  just  assembled,  it  is  not  possible  for  mo  to  leave 
the  capital  of  the  State.  I  regret  it  is  not  in  my  power  to  show,  by  my 
attend.inoe,  my  respeet  for  the  memory  of  one  of  the  marked  men  of  the 
couutiy.  The  life-long  labors  of  the  late  Archbishop  ^vill  tell  for  a  long 
period  upon  the  literature,  the  religion,  and  the  charitable  institutions  of 
our  land.  In  a  few  years  the  City  of  New  York  will  be  adorned  Ijy  a 
magniticent  cathedral,  the  broad  foundations  of  which  were  hu.:  under  his 
supervision  and  care.  So,  too,  in  the,  future,  will  the  interests  of  learning, 
religion,  and  charity  be  built  upon  the  ground-works  which  he  has  estab- 
lished <luring  his  long  and  laborious  life.  The  progress  of  events  and  the, 
growth  of  our  counti-y  will  not  throw  his  memory  into  the  shade,  but  they 
will  develop  and  make  more  clear  his  influence  upon  the  social  condition 
of  our  people. 

Truly  yours,  HORATIO  SEYMOUR. 


The  solemn  service  api^ointed  by  the  Catholic  Church  for  the  thirtieth 
day  after  burial,  was  on  Wednesday,  the  3d  February,  celebrated  with 
the  customary  form  and  ceremony  in  St.  Patrick's  Cathedral,  for  the  happy 
repose  of  Archbishop  Hughes.  The  Church  was  tastefully  and  artistically, 
draped  in  mourning,  as  on  the  occasion  of  the  Obsequies,  and  the  stately 
catafalque  which  graced  the  grand  aisle,  in  front  of  the  altar,  was  a  model 
of  fine  taste.  On  its  centre  was  placed  a  large  funeral  urn  surmounted  by  a 
cross,  and  over  it  was  suspended  the  purple  stole  of  the  illustrious  prelate, 
whose  mitre  stood  on  the  foot  of  the  mimic  coffin,  sad  mementoes  of  the 
dead.  .  There  was  one  Archbishop  and  six  Bishops  present. 

The  following  are  the  names  of  the  Bishops  and  Clergy  present,  so  far  as 
could  be  ascertained  at  the  tima:  Most  Rev.  Archbishop  Connolly,  of 
Halifax,  N.  S.  ;  Bishops  Bayley,  Newark ;  Timon,  Buffalo ;  Loughlin, 
Brooklyn ;  Domenec,  Pittsburg ;  Farrell,  Hamilton,  0.  "W. ;  Lynch,  To- 
ronto, 0.  W. ;  Very  Rev.  Father  Starrs,  V.  Gr.,  Administrator;  Rev.  Messrs. 
Baker,  Farrell,  Deshon,  W.  Quinn,  Brennan,  McNulty,  Moylan,  S.  J. ;  Loy- 
zance,  S.  J.,  Driscol,  S.  J.,  "Walworth,  O'Oallahan,  Conron,  Mooney,  Breen, 
Clowrey,  McKenna,  McLoughlin,  Barry,  Boyce,  Nelligan,  D.  D.,  McMa- 
hon,.  Lynch,  McClellan,  McEvoy,  Orsenigo,  Heoker,  McCarthy,  Briady, 
Treanor,  Mignault,  S.  J.,  Ourran,  Brennan,  Madden,  Shanahan,  Brophy, 
Daly,  Reardon,  Quinn,  John  Everet,  Feral,  Woo(jls,  MuUedy,  S.  J.,  Farrelly, 
O'Toole,  Hassan,  Lewis,  Nobriga,  Slevin,  of  the  Diocese  of  New  York. 

There  were  also  a  large  number  of  Priests  from  the  neighboring  Dioceses ; 
among  the  rest,  Very  Rev.  Father  Morau,  V.  Q-.,  Newark,  N.  J. ;  Rev.  Messrs. 
Doane,  Newark,  N.  3.  \  Madden,  Madison,  N.  J. ;  McKay,  Orange,  N.  J. ; 
Cauvin,  Hoboken,  N.  J. ;  McNulty,  Patersou,  N.  J. ;  Very  Rev.  Mr.  Turner, 
V.  G-. ;  Rev.  Messrs.  McDonnell,  McKenna,  Cassidy,  Gleeson,  Keegan,  Brady, 
McGorrisk,  Maguire,  Bohan,  Pise,  D.  D,  Freel,  Brooklyn,  N.  Y. ;  Phelan 
Astoria,  N.  Y. ;, Parley,  Jamaica,  N.  Y. ;  O'Brien,  New  Haven,  Ct.  ;>  Hart,  New 
Haven,  Ct.,  Smyth,  Norwalk,  Ct. ;  DaBruyker,  Williamantic,  Ct. ;  Walsh,  Mer- 
iden,  Ct. ;  Kelly,  Norwich,  Ct.;  Lambe,  Providence,  R.  I. ;  Cooney,  Providence, 
R.  L;  Very  Rev.  J.  J.  Williams,  V.  G.,  Boston,  Mass. ;  Rev.  Messrs.  Linden, 
Boston,  Mass. ;  McPhillips,  Taunton,  Mass. ;  Very  Rev.  M.  O'Brien,  V.  G., 
Rochester,  N.  Y. ;  Rev.  Messrs.- Mulholland,  Lookport,  N.  Y. ;  MoMulIin, 
Suspension    Bridge,   N.  Y. ;    McGowan,  Seneca  Falls,  N.  Y. ;  Magliana, 


O.  S.  r.,  Alleghany,  N.  Y. ;  Bevnolds,  Pittsburg,  Pa. ;  J.  McCloskey,  V.  P., 
Mt.  St.  Mary's  College,  Emmilsburg,  and  Conway,  P.  P.,  Headford,  Ireland. 
Mass  was  celebrated  by  Archbishop  Connolly,  assisted  by  Very  Rev.  Mr. 
Starrs,  V.  Q.,  Administrator  ^ro  tern,  of  the  Archdiocese;  Rev.  Mr.  Ma^ire 
of  the  Cathedral  officiated  as  Deacon,  and  Rev.  Dr.  McSweeney  as  Sub- 
deacon;  Rev.  F.  McNeirny,  Master  of  Ceremonies,  assisted  by  Rev.  Mr.  Far- 
rell.  The  sermon,  preached  by  the  Bishop  of  Brooklyn,  is  given  in  full 


Remember  yoar  Prelates  who  have  spoken  the  Word  of  God  to  you ;  whose  faith 
follow,  considering  the  end  of  their  conversation. — Heb.  xiii.  7. 

ToTj  are  assembled  here  to-day,  beloved  brethren,  to  perform  a  work 
■which  your  religion  recommends — ^that  is,  to  unite  in  offering  the  Holy 
Sacrifice  and  fervent  prayer  for  the  repose  of  the  soul  of  our  lamented  Arch- 
bishop. You  have  come,  also,  it  may  be,  to  hear  from  this  place  a  suitable 
exposition  of  his  merits  which  may  be  calculated  to  increase  your, respect, 
admiration  and  affection  for  him,  or  to.  confirm  in  you  those  sentiments 
which  have  long  since  had  a  place  in  your  hearts.  Already  most  eloquent 
words  of  eulogy  have  been  addressed  to  you.  Already  you  have  heard  on 
all  sides,  in  public  and  in  private,  the  learned  and  the  unlearned;  the  states- 
man, the  lawyer,  the  orator,  the  poet,  those  who  are  not  members  of  the 
.Catholic  Church  as  well  as  those  who  are,  proclaim,  with  one  accord,  their 
respect  for  the  illustrious  departed.  On  the  day  of  his  obsequies  you  saw 
within  this  sacred  edifice,  municipal  and  various  other  representations  and 
delegations,  manifesting  their  grief  for  the  loss  sustained  by  the  whole 
community,  while  sympathetic  thousands  were  without,  unable  to  enter. 
The  grahd  solemnity  of  that  day,  and  the  manifestation  of  feeling  which 
the  sad  event  by  which  it  was  marked  called  forth,  will  not  be  soon  for- 
gotten. The  remembrance  of  him  whose  remains  were  then  before  us  wiK 
be  ever  cherished  with  respect  and  affection  by  all  of  us.  After  all  this, 
can  any  word  I  might  utter  extend  the  boundaries  of  his  fame,  or  increase 
your  respect  and  affection  for  him  ?  I  apprehend  that  any  effort  on  my 
part  to  accomplish  this  might  be  fruitless,  on  account  of  my  inability,  in 
the  limited  time  allowed  me  for  the  purpose,  and  because,  even  if  I  had 
more  time,  I  could  not  satisfy  the  demands  of  justice,  or  reach  the  point  to 
which  your  expectations  have  been  raised.  Nevertheless,  as  it  is  written 
by  the  Apostle :  "  Remember  your  Prelates  who  have  spoken  the  Word  of 
God  to  you ;  whose  faith  follow,  considering  the  end  of  their  conversation," 
I  venture  to  speak  of  one  of  whom  it  is  difficult  to  speak,  and  yet  concern- 
ing whom  it  is  difficult  to  be  silent. 

When  we  speak  of  the  Most  Rev.  Dr.  Hughes,  late  Archbishop  of  New  York, 
we  speak  of  a  man  whom  Divine  Providence  gifted  with  very  great,  I  might 
say  with  extraordinary  powers  of  mind,  who  entertained  in  his  heart  sentiments 
which  do  honor  to  humanity,  who  ha,d  a  robust,  vigorous  physical  constitution, 
all  of  which  would  have  secured  for  him  distinguished  pre-eminence  in  any  posi- 
tion or  sphere  in  life.  If  we  speak  of  him  as  a  citizen,  I  may  say  that  if  ever  the 
lamp  of  patriotism  burned  in  the  heart  of  man,  it  did  in  his.  He  loved,  and 
fondly,  too,  the  land  of  his  nativity,  but  the  intolerance  there  experienced 
caused  him  to  leave  it  for  "  another  country  in  which  he  believed  the  rights 
and  privileges  of  citizens  rendered  all  men  equal."  The  duties  which  devolved 
upon  him,  and  which  he  understood  so  well,  in  this  land  of  his  adoption,  he 
discharged  with  unswerving  fidelity.  To  use  his  own  language,  "  His  feelings, 
his  habits,  his  thoughts,  had  been  so  much  identified  with  all  that  is  American, 

month's  mind  ceremonies.  27 

that  he  had  almost  forgotten  he  was  a  foreigner."  So  long  ahiiost  as  the  lamp 
of  life  itself  continued  to  burn,  so  did  that  also  of  the  love  of  his  country,  and 
for  it  he  was  willing  to  make  every  sacrifice  compatible  with  his  high  and  holy 
vocation.  He  was  entitled  to  our  respect  and  admiration  as  a  man  and  as  a 
citizen,  and  we  are  called  upon  to  revere  his  memory  now  that  he  is  no  more. 
But  it  is  in  the  sacred  and  exalted  character  of  priest  and  prelate,  of  anointed 
of  the  LoVd,  of  sentinel  on  the  watchtower  of  Israel,  of  a  chief  of  the  hosts 
of  the  Lord,  of  shepherd  in  the  fold  of  Christ,  that  we  consider  and  commemo- 
rate him  more  especially.  It  was  after  his  ordination  that  "his  public  life 
commenced.  Not  much  time  had  elapsed  after  that  event  before  he  felt  him- 
self called  upon  to  repel  the  unjust  assaults  which  bigotry  made  upon  his  religion, 
and  which  were  calculated  to  bring  odium  on  it  and  its  professors.  Conscious 
of  the  possession  of  the  powers  with  which  he  had  been  gifted,  and  at  the  same 
time  of  the  truth  and  holiness  of  the  cause  he  undertook  to  defend,  he  advanced 
as  a  giant,  and  with  his  wonderful  intellectual  ability  he  detected  and  exposed 
before  the  light  of  revelation  and  reason  the  errors  and  the  bad  logic  of  his 
opponents,  and  having  scattered  the  mists  of  ignorance  and  prejudice,  the  truth 
shone  forth  in  all  its  majesty  and  splendor,  and  the  Catholic  public  gloried  in 
him  as  their  great  champion.  As  a  priejit  he  acquired  great  distinction,  which, 
as  it  was  acquired  in  the  defence  of  his  religion,  redounded  also  to  the  honor 
of  that  religion  and  of  the  Catholic  name. 

In  the  cqurse  of  a  few  years  he  was  called  upon  to  assume^reater  re- 
sponsibilities. A  heavier  burden  was  to  be  borne  by  him.  He  did  not 
seek  those  responsibilities,  nor  did  he  ask  to  have  that  burden  placed  upon 
his  shoulders.  Yet  when  he  was  satisfied  that  it  was  the  will  of  his  Divine 
Master  that  he  should  bear  it,  he  bowed  in  submission— he  did  not  refuse 
the  labor.  Confiding  in  Him  whose  name  is  Almighty,  from  the  eminence 
to  which  he  had  been  raised,  at  the  proper  time,  he  surveyed  the  fold  for 
which  he  became  responsible,  made  himself  acquainted  with  its  condition, 
to  give  direction,  apply  the  corrective,  or  supply  the  want,  according  to 
the  circumstances.  He  entered  on  the  discharge  of  the  duties  of  the  Epis- 
copate with  astonishing  ability  and  vigor.  With  eye  fixed  on  the  great 
palladium  of  civil  and  religious  liberty — on  the  great  principle  of  the 
American  government,  he  asserts  for  the  young  and  for  the  old  of  his  flock 
the  rights  of  conscience.  Again,  you  find  him  engaged  in  removing  with 
masterly  dexterity  the  difficulties  that  obstructed  the  free  observance  of 
ecclesiastical  discipline.  At  another  time  you  see  him  contemplating 
the  threatening  storm  of  human  passion,  and  soon,  as  if  it  awaited  his 
order,  it  is  hushed  into  inoffensive  stillness.  Should  his  adversary  present 
himself  behind  a  mask,  he  tears  it  off,  and  with  a  rod  dipped  in  a  mix- 
ture of  logic,  ridicule  and  sarcasm,  he  sends  him  back  in  confusion  to  the 
obscurity  frolm  which  he  had  emerged. 

Besides  the  great  tact  and  prudence  for  which  he  was  remarkable,  he 
was  most  courageous — ^never  daunted,  never  dismayed — a  stranger  to  fear. 
He  was  sometimes  apparently  severe,  yet  always  kind,  benevolent,  charita- 
ble. In  all  his  labors,  and  trials,  and  contests,  he  found  consolation  in  the 
truth  and  holiness  of  his  religion,  in  the  rectitude  of  his  conduct ;  "in  all 
my  public  life  in  New  York,"  he  writes,  "I  have  done  no  action,  uttered 
no  sentiment  unworthy  of  a  Christian  Bishop  and  an  American  citizen ;" 
and  also  in  the  reciprocation  of  fidelity  on  the  part  of  his  devoted  flock,  so 
that  he  might  declare,  as  he  did  on  the  occasion  of  the  laying  of  the  corner- 
stone of  the  new  Cathedral,  to  the  assembled  thousands,  ''  You  have  never 
failed  me,"  reminding  us  of  what  the  Apostle  wrote  to  the  Corinthians : 
"  We  are  your  glory,  as  you  also  are  ours."  What  shall  I  say  of  the  emo- 
tions of  pleasure  experienced  by  the  members  of  this  congregation  as  he 
was  seen  proceeding  from  the  sacristy  or  episcopal  throne  towards  this 


plaop  ?  We  know  how  deliglited  all  were  to  hear  the  soimii  of  that  voice, ' 
now,  alas !  hushed  to  stillness,  to  see  that  penetrating  eye,  now  closed  and 
motionless,  and  that  gesture,  which  seemed  to  accord  so  naturally  in  vigor 
and  force  with  the  language  employed  in  elucidating  doi;trine  or  enforcing 
the  observance  of  moral  precept.  But  why  should  I  continue  to  repeat 
what  you  have  so  often  heard,  or  endeavor  to  bring  before  your  view  what 
you  have  so  often  seen  ?  Is  it  only  for  the  purpose  of  exciting  anew  your 
respect  and  your  affection  for  him  ?  While  I  would  say  it  is  not  unlawful, 
but  rather  'commendable,  to  entertain  these  sentiments,  should  wo  not  also 
• — yea,  and  above  all — give  glory  to  Him  who  was  pleased  to  enrich  him  so 
munificicntly  ?  Who  bestowed  on  him  the  gift  of  faith  ?  Who  gave  him 
fortitude  and  constancy  in  defence  of  that  faith  J  Who  gave  him  prudence 
and  other  endowments  for  which  he  was  so  distinguished  ?  To  the  Giver 
of  every  good  and  perfect  gift,  to  the  Father  of  Lights,  to  the  Author  and 
Knisher  of  our  faith,  to  the  Spirit  of  Wisdom  and  Fortitude,  be  honor 
and  glory,  benediction  and  praise,  for  all  the  graces  and  blessings  be- 
stowed upon  him,  and,  through  his  ministry,  upon  ua.  Thus,  beloved 
brethren,  does  the  remembrance  of  the  great  Prelate  excite  to  praise  and 
glorify  God,  nor  should  it  be  without  its  salutary  influence"  on  our  lives. 
This  was  the  thought  of  the  Apostle  when  he  admonished  the  Hebrews  to 
follow  the  faith  of  their  Prelates. 

That  God  has  made  a  revelation  to  man,  we  doubt  not.  It  is  also  certain 
that  it  was  his  will  that  Ho  should- be  glorified  by  man's  knowledge  and  ac- 
ceptance of  it.  Man  should  then  have  a  knowledge  of  it,  should  accept  it,  and 
be  guided  by  it.  Has  God  made  any  arrangement  for  this  purpose  ?  Most 
certainly.  It  is  made  known  to  us  by  the  Evangehst  as  a  fact  which  existed. 
Like  all  the  stupendous  works  of  the  Almighty,  it  seem.s  very  simple.  The 
Son  of  God  chose  Apostles,  and  to  them  He  gave  the  words  which  He  had 
received  from  his  Father,  and  He  commissioned  them  to  preach  them  to  the 
nations  of  the  earth,  pledging  his  word  to  them  that  He  would  be  with  them 
till  the  end  of  the  world ;  declaring  to  them,  moreover,  that  whoever  heard  them 
heard  Him !  The  work  was  to  be  continued,  and  the  order  in  which  it  was  to 
be  carried  on  was  arranged  by  infinite  wisdom.  It  was  by  a  living,  teaching 
ministry.  So  the  Apostles  understood  it.  We  read  that  St  Paul  directed 
Timothy  to  commend  to  faithful  men  who  shall  be  tit  to  teach  others  also  the 
things  which  he  had  heard  from  him.  He  left  Titus  at  Crete  for  the  express 
purpose  of  ordaining  others,  that  thus  the  ministry  might  be  perpetuated.  He 
tells  the  Hebrews  to  obey  their  prelates  and  to  be  subject  to  them,  for  they 
watch  as  being  to  render  an  account  of  their  souls,  and  again,  to  follow  their 
faith.  ■  The  doctrines  of  faith  which  they  believed  and  taught  were  believed 
and  taught  by  the  prelates  of  the  Church  everywhere,  in  every  nation.  Thus, 
in  our  'day,  we  may  repeat  the  words  of  the  Apostle,  "  Remember  your  Pre- 
lates who  have  spoken  the  Word  of  God  to  you,  whose  faith  follow."  It  is  the 
faith  of  the  Catholic  Church,  the  faith  once  delivered  to  the  saints.. 

This  is  the  faith  he  held  and  preached.  Follow  that  fdth  and  you  will 
be  good  members  of  society,  good  citizens,  good  Christians.  To  it  you 
must  apply  for  a  correctknowledge  of  all  your  duties.  By  means  of  it  you 
can  see  things  as  God  wills  you  should  see  them  here  below,  and  viewing 
the  world  and  all  ^that  is  in  it  by  the  aid  of  its  light,  you  will  see  its  vanity ; 
you  will  learn  that  true  happiness  is  not  found  apart  from  God;  jou  learn 
the  value  of  an  immortal  soul.  The'great  truths  of  Faith  lie  preached  to 
you  with  great  force  and  dignity,  yet  with  great  simplicity,  for  to  the 
learned  and  to  the  unlearned,  to  the  wise  and  to  the  unwise,  he  was  a 
debtor.  He  never  forgot  that  he  was 'a'  bishop,  and  that  he  should  take 
heed  to  himself  and  to  the  whole  flock  over  which  he  had  been  placed. 
Great  were  his  gifts,  great  his  dignity,  'great  his  responsibility.     He  is  ad- 


monislied  lliat  the  time  when  he  shall  liavo  to  rciidiir  an  aoftount  of  his 
(tewardship  is  at  hand,  and  that  he  should  prepare  for  it.  He  received  the 
Last  Sacraments.  Though  it  was,  and  ever  -wi:!  be,  a  great  consolation  to 
me  and  to  you  to  know  that  he  had  the  full  and  unimpared  use  of  his  senses 
and  faculties  at  the  time,  it  was  difficult  to  look  at  that  great  man,  that 
champion,  that  hero  preparing  to  leave  the  scone  of  liis  labors,  to  leave  those 
who  were  devoted  to  him.  After  he  had  received  the  Holy  Viaticum  and 
the  Sacrament  of  Extreme  Unction  he  did  not  fail  to  express,  in  his  own 
peculiar,  emphatic  manner,  the  happiness  he  experienced.  Soon  after  my 
consecration  I  had  occasion  to  go  to  his  room.  Having  attended  to  the 
business  for  which  I  went,  and  about  to  leave,  he  looked  at  me  and  said : 
"  Never  forget  that  you  are  a  Bishop." 

Now,  in  conclusion,  I  transmit  to  you,  beloved  brethren,  the  affectionate 
admonition,;  never  forget  that  you  are  Catholics.  Great  is  the  digaity  of 
the  Archbishop,  of  the  Bishop,  of  the  Priest,  of  the  Catholic,  and  great  the 
responsibility.  One  of  the  great  thoughts  of  his  great  mind,  the  desire  of 
his  heart,  was  that  his  children  in  the  Faith  should  not  be  socially  or 
ci\'illy  inferior  to  their  fellow-citizens.  He  knew  to  what  dignity  their 
Faith  raised  them.  He  knew  they  had  a  correct  understanding  of  their 
moral  obligations,  and  the  duty  of  defending  their  civil  and  their  social 
rights  he  never  lost  sight  of.  Remember  your  Prelate  who  has  spoken  to 
you  the  Word  of  God.  Follow  the  great  principles  of  his  and  your  Faith. 
Kemembcr  him  in  your  prayers,  so  that,  so  far  as  may  depend  on  you,  you 
may  be  instrumental  in  hastening,  if  it  has  not  already  taken  place,  his  ad- 
mission into  the  joy  of  his  Lord.  Take  heed  to  yourselves.  Forget  not 
your  dignity,  so  tlaat  when  your  day  come,  or  rather,  if  you  will,  v/hen  the 
night  cometh  when  you  can  no  longer  labor,  you  may  pass  from  this  world 
of  darkness  to  the  enjoyment  of  Him  who  dwelleth  in  the  midst  of  light 

After  the  Sermon  was  concluded,  the  last  solemn  rites  were  performed  by 
Archbishop  Connolly,  attended  by  Deacon  and  Sub-Deacon.  Thus  ended 
the  last  public  ceremony  over  the  remains  of  a  great  and  good  man.  lie- 
gziiescat  in  pace. 


Freachedin  the  Church  of  St.  Augusiine,  Philadelphia,  May  Zisi,  1829. 

[This  splendid  sermon  was  delivered  by  the  late  Archbishop  Hughes  in  the  Church 

of  St.  Auffustine,  in  Philadelphia,  on  the  31st  of  May,  1829,  at  a  solemn  religious 

'thanksgiving  to  Almighty  God  for  the  emancipation  of  the  Catholics  of  Great  Britain 

and  Ireland,  just  achieved  through  the  efforts  of  Daniel  O'Cnnnell.     The  sermon  was 

dedicated  to  him  by  the  author,  who  was  then  only  pastor  of  St.  Joseph's  Church.] 

LordThouhast  blessedThy  land  :  Thou  hast^turned  away  the  captivity  of  Jacob  .  .  . 
....  Mercy  and  truth  have  met  each  other :  Justice  and  peace  have  kissed. 
Truth  is  sprung  out  of  the  earth  ;  and  Justice  hath  looked  down  from  heaven. 

I'SALJi  lixxiv. 

It  is  the  privilege  of  man,  my  brethren,  to  sympathize  in  sorrows  that 
•are  not  his  own,  as  well  as  to  rejoice  in  the  blessings  which  make  others 
happy,  although  they  leave  his  own  individual  condition  unchanged  and  un- 


affected.  This  peculiarly  amiable  feature  has  heen  impressed  on  the  human 
character  by  the  plasmatic  hand  of  Almighty  God,  in  order,  no  doubt,  to 
remind  his  children,  by  the  community  of  their  affections,  that  however 
separated  by  distance  of  time  or  place,  they  are  brethren  notwithstanamg, 
deriving  their  origin  from  a  common  Father,  by  whom  they  were  createa  tor 
a  common  end.  Otherwise,  the  sympathetic  susceptibilities  of  the  human 
breast  arc  inexplicable.  There  is  no  other  fountain  to  which  we  can  trace 
the  current  of  those  tears  that  bedew  the  pages  of  romance,  when  they  pic- 
ture scenes  of  distress  which  might  heme  existed,  but  which  in  fact  never  rfjrf 
exist,  save  in  the  author's  imagination  and  the  reader's  sensibility.  If,  then, 
by  the  spontaneous  dictate  of  generous  nature,  we  can  enter  thus  largely 
into  the  fortunes  and  feelings  of  one  individual,  how  could  we  stand  unmoved 
when  we  behold  entire  millions  of  our  species  and  our  brethren,  after  whole 
ages  of  sorrow,  rejoicing  at  length  in  the  commencement  of  a  new-born  des- 
tiny, and  we  trust  a  happier  era.  It  was  but  yesterday  you  saw  the  hope 
of  those  millions  suspended  from  the  balance  of  apparent  chance,  and  with 
what  anxious  solicitude  did  you  watch  every  tremulous  motion  of  the  beam, 
whilst  prejudice,  folly  and  oppression  were  in  one  scale,  opposed  to  reason, 
truth  and  justice  in  the  other,  and  it  yet  remained  doubtful  which  side  would 
ultimately  preponderate !  The  issue  has  been  auspicious :  it  has  been  made 
known  to  you  and  to  the  world ;  and  other  millions,  perfectly  disinterested, 
except  by  the  sympathies  of  universal  nature,  are  now  rejoicing  in  the  event. 
Such  is  the  benevolence  of  philanthropy. 

But  this  feeling,  for  the  very  reason  that  it  is  capable  of  being  extended, 
so  as  to  embrace  all  mankind  of  every  nation  and  of  every  clime,  becomes 
stronger  and  wanner,  like  the  concentrated  rays  of  the  sun,  when  circum- 
stances confine  it  within  a  narrower  sphere.  "What  was  philanthropy,  when 
it  knew  no  limits,  requires  to  be  expressed  by  some  more  ardent  epithet, 
when  it  is  circumscribed  by  the  boundaries  of  our  native  country;  and  lan- 
guage presents  a  word  of  magic  influence — patriotism.  Here,  then,  is  an- 
other principle  of  hunian  nature  that  operates  on  so  many  bosoms  in  the  vast 
assembly  that  surround  me.  There  is  in  the  heart  of  every  man  that  which 
interestshim — the  land  of  his  nativity ;  and  until  that  heart  cease  to  beat,  no 
distance  either  of  time  or  of  place  will  be  able  to  extinguish  the  sensation. 
He  may  banish  himself  from  his  country — his  judgment  may  give  a. decided 
preference  to  any  other — his  reason  may  be  at  variance  with  his  feelings — 
absence  and  age,  and  reason  and  philosophy  may  all  conspire  against  the 
rebel  affection  of  his  bosom,  but  they  will  not  be  able  to  subdue  it.  The 
home  of  his  fathers  and  of  his  childhood,  the  scenes  and  companions  of  his 
youth,  even  the  first  landscape,  however  rude,  with  which  his  eyes  became 
familiar — all  these  things  break  in  upon  his  recollection  in  after  years,  with, 
that  luxury  of  mingled  feelings  which  I  cannot  describe,  because  they  will 
not  submit  to  be  analyzed,  but  which  every  exile  from  his  country  has  expe- 
rienced, and  can  therefore  appreciate.  These  reminiscences  are  sometimea 
sad,  and  yet  they  charm ;  they  are  melancholy,  and  still  they  enchant :  but 
whatever  they  are,  they  maintain  their  dominion  over  the  human  breast; 
and  I  know  one  heart  that  would  not  like  to  be  insensible  to  their  influence, 
even  if  the  tiling  were  possible. 

Still,  my'brethren,  they  are  common  to  the  Jew,  the  Christian,  and  the 
idolater :  to  the  barbarian  as  well  as  to  the  Greek.  They  belong  to  the 
order  of  mere  human  virtues,  until  they  are  touched  and  hallowed,  like  the 
prophet's  lips,  by  some  living  embers  from  the  altar  of  religion.  Thus, 
whilst  we  indulge  in  feelings  of  philanthropy  and  of  patriotism,  as  men,  we 
must  not  be  unmindful  that  as  believers  we  should  refer  to  God  the  glory 
of  the  achievement  in  which  we  all  rejoice.  It  is  for  this  especial  reason 
that  we  give  expression  to  our  gratitude  in  the  act  of  solemn  and  religious 


thanksgiving,  and  thus  proclaim  our  belief,  that  the  aflfaira  cf  this  -world  are 
not  abandoned  to  capricious  chance — that  they  are  not  decided  by  sullen 
destiny — but  that  God,  the  Supreme  Ruler  of  the  universe,  without  seem- 
ing to  dispute  the  wisdom  of  earthly  calculations,  disposes  them  neverthe- 
less in  measure  and  in  weight  according  to  a  superior  judgment,  too  sub- 
lime for  the  scrutiny  of  man,  too  infinite  for  the  comprehension  of  created 

So  that,  on  whatsoever  side  we  consider  the  subject,  we  find  the  occasion 
to  be  in  accordance  with  the  best  and  most  universal  feelings  of  our  nature, 
and  with  the  soundest  dictates  of  reason  and  of  religion.  It 'is  an  occasion 
of  legitimate  rejoicing  in  every  sense :  when  the  apple  of  discord,  which  has 
been  the  cause  of  jo  much  oppression,  injustice,  and  bloodshed  in  unhappy 
Ireland,  has  been^at  length  destroyed,  and  the  axe  effectually  applied  to 
the  root  of  the  tree  that  produced  it — when  those  inequalities  in  the  law 
which  divided  the  nation  so  long,  operating  as  an  almost  irresistible  incen-  , 
tive  to  the  worst  passions  of  authority,  are  blotted  out  for  ever — when  we 
may  hope  that  hereafter  heaven  will  be  no  more  outraged  by  the  crimes  of 
the  oppressor;  that  humanity  will  no  longer  be  compelled  to  weep  over 
the  sufferings  of  the  oppressed — when,  in  fine,  the  kindred  virtues  have 
been  permitted  to  meet  again,  and  justice  and  peace  have  actually  kissed, 
in  token  of  eternal  amity. 

Such  are  the  prominent  features  of  the  moral  triumph  which  I  have  this 
day  to  proclaim ;  and  my  only  regret  is,  that  it  has  not  found  a  herald  more 
competent  to  do  it  justice.  When  I  refiect,  however,  that  the  intense  feel- 
ings which  surround  me  are  interested  chiefly  in  the  matter  of  my  subject, 
I  have  reason  to  hope  they  will  extend  a  generous  portion  of  indulgence  to 
the  manner  in  which  it  may  be  presented.  This  is  the  cheeiing  considera- 
tion that  sustains  me,  when  I  would  otlierwise  shrink  from  the  arduous  un- 

The  histories  of  nations,  my  brethren,  like  those  of  individuals,  chequered 
as  both  are  by  the  vicissitudes  to  which  human  things  are  liable,  become  a 
book  of  moral  and  religious  instruction  when  studied  by  the  light  of  Chris- 
tian faith: — whilst  at  the  same  time  they  furnish  that  experience  from 
which  philosophy  may  extract  lessons  of  practical  wisdom ;  and  statesmen 
derive  political  knowledge,  which  they  can  employ  for  the  promotion  or 
the  destruction  of  social  happiness.  And  there  is  not  in  the  world,  per- 
haps, a  country  whose  history  may  be  studied  under  a  greater  variety  of 
aspects,  than  that  which  is  this  day  the  subject  of  our  consideration.  The 
native  historians  of  Ireland  trace  the  lineal  descent  of  her  people  to  a  very 
distinguished  origin,  and  to  an  extremely  remote  period  of  antiquity. 
They  claim  also,  even  for  their  pagan  ancestors,  a  degree  of  superiority  in 
national  policy,  and  in  mental  improvement,  which  distinguished  them  in 
those  ages,  as  much  as  the  Mexicans  were  distinguished  from  the  other  na- 
tions of  this  hemisphere  at  the  epoch  of  the  Spanish  invasion.  _  Other 
writers,  however,  have  drawn  their  pen  across  the  labor  of  the  Irish  anti- 
quarians, and  without  taking  the  pains  to  investigate,  have  pronounced  the 
whole  narrative  to  be  fabulous.  If  national  credulity  has  arrogated  too 
much,  it  is  equally  certain  that  those,  who  with  national  antipathies  have- 
undertaken  to  correct  the  mistake,  have  been  uncandid  in  refusing  to  con- 
cede what  ought  not  to  be  withheld.  For,  without  losing  ourselves  in  the 
mists  of  antiquity,  but  beginning  at  the  period  when  history  cast  away  the 
drapery  of  fiction,  with  which,  it  is  said,  that  poetry  had  invested  her,  we 
are  met  by  tangible  and  uncontroverted  facts,  which  prove  that  however 
the  pretensions  to  superiority  may  have  been  over-rated,  they  are  not  alto- 
gether without  foundation. 

Jt  was  in  the  fifth  century  of  our  era,  when  Christianity,  having  already 


scattered  lier  divine  illuminations  extensively  over  tlie  globe,  landed  at 
length  on  the  shores  of  Ireland,  and  planted  the  cross— at  once  the  ep  blem 
of  her  doctrine  and  the  evidence  of  her  conquest  —  where  the  Roman  eagle 
never  floated.  In  what  situation  did  she  find  the  country  ?  Governed  by 
a  monarch  who  enjoyed  the  sceptre  by  the  right  of  election,  whose  privileges 
were  limited  and  defined  ;  with  representative  parliamentary  assemblies, 
for  the  enactment  of  wise  laws  ;  with  three  distinct  classes  in  the  state,  for 
the  purposes  of  subordination  ;  with  the  use  of  letters  and  literary  estab- 
lishments ;  with  institutions  separate  and  apart  for  the  study  of  music, 
heraldry,  philosophy,  and  medicine !  This  is  not  the  government  of  a  rude 
and  savage  people— these  are  not  the  institutions  of  barbarism,  nor  the  oc- 
cupation of  barbarians.  Greece  would  not  have  been  ashamed  of  them  at 
any  time ;  and  in  that  age  history  sought  for  them  in  vain  beyond  the 
limits  of  the  Roman  empire,  except  in  Ireland, 

But,  again,  contrast  the  admission  which  Christianity  obtained  in  Ireland, 
with  the  cruel  opposition  which  it  had  to  encounter  in  other  countries.  . 
When  we  examine  the  means  and  manner  of  the  world's  conversion,  we  find 
that  the  first  heralds  of  eternal  life'  were  generally  immolated  in  almost 
every  country  to  the  expiring  deities  of  the  place ;  and  that  the  tree  of  di- 
vine faith  was  not  permitted  to.  take  root  in  the  soil,  until  after  it  had  been 
profusely  watered  with  the  blood  of  those  who  were  commissioned  to  plant 
it.  In  Ireland,  however,  this  was  not  the  case.  The  great  apostle  of  that 
nation  was  permitted  to  labor  undisturbed  in  his  holy  vocation  for  thirty 
successive  years,  exhibiting  the  meek  religion  of  Jesus  Christ  in  the  power 
of  its  own  celestial  evidence — and  because  the  mind  of  Ireland  was  im- 
proved and  competent  to  judge  it  by  its  evidence,  only  thirty  years  was 
]iecessary  to  establish  that  doctrine,  which,  a  proscription  and  a  persecution 
of  nearly  three  hundred  have  not  been  able  to  root  out.  Greece  and  Italy 
were  enlightened,  and  yet  they  endeavored  to  extinguish  the  infant  religion 
of  Christ  in  its  cradle ;  but  their  hearts  were  depraved,  and  the  Holy  Scrip- 
tures assign  the  universal  motive  of  men,  who  "love  darkness  rather  than 
light."  The  reasoning  of  Ireland,  compared  with  theirs,  was  the  reasoning 
of  Gamaliel  in  the  council  of  the  Pharisees.  But  in  all  the  other  countries 
civilization  followed  with  tardy  pace  in  the  footsteps  of  Christianity ;  in 
Ireland  it  had  gone  before.  Elsewhere,  the  seed  of  the  divine  word  was 
sown  on  the  rocks  of  barbarism,  or  scattered  amid  the  brambles  of  blind, 
bigoted,  and  cruel  superstition — here,  the  rock  had  been  broken,  the  bram- 
bles had  been  cleared  away,  and  Christianity  found  a  soil  prepared ;  for  I 
defy  historical  scepticism,  with  all  its  easy  ingenuity,  to  account  for  its  un- 
obstructed promulgation,  and  rapid  increase  on  any  other  human  hypo- 

But,  together  with  the  religion  of  Jesus  Christ,  Ireland  received  the 
knowledge  of  Roman  letters,  and  of  classic  literature ;  and  during  the  sub- 
sequent ages,  when  the  torch  of  science  was  on  the  verge  of  extinction 
throughout  the  rest  of  Europe,  it  blazed  forth  in  Ireland  with  a  lustre  which 
attracted  at  once  the  notice  and  the  admiration  of  the  world.  And  here 
permit  me  to  instance  how  hereditary  and  indeliable  are  the  leading  traits 
of  national  character.  One  of  the  laws  previous  to  its  conversion,  proves 
that  hospitality  was  universally  exercised  in  that  country  from  time  im- 
memorial. This  law  did  not  enjoin  merely  that  the  stranger  should  be 
taken  in  when  perchauGO  he  knocked  at  the  door,  nor  that  having  entered 
the  domestic  circles,  his  rights  should  be  regarded  as  sacred.  In  other 
countries  this  would  have  been  much  ;  in  Ireland  it  was  unnecessary,  and 
would  have  been  nothing.  It  was  enjoined  by  public  authority,  and  under 
the  forfeiture  of  penalty,  that  no  family  should  remove  from  its  established 
residence  without  having  given  previous  notice  of  its  intention,  lest  t  te 


■wearied  traveler,  unapprised  of  the  change,  should  call  at  the  deserted 
mansion,  when  overtaken  by  the  darkness  of  the  night,  and  there  would  be 
no  one  to  receive  him  to  the  rites  of  hospitality. 

But  it  was  during  the  period  subsequent  to  the  introduction  of  Christi- 
anity, when  the,  charities  of  heaven's  religion  were  engrafted  on  the  stock 
of  native  generosity,  that  Ireland  established  her  prescriptive  and  undisput- 
ed claim  to  that  national  character,  which,  through  all  the  variety  of  her 
fortunes,  she  has  not  to  this  day  forfeited.  Her  seminaries  of  learning, 
with  which  she  abounded,  were  crowded  with  the  votaries  of  knowledge 
from  every  other  country,  and  we  are  authorized  on  the  testimony  of  a  co- 
temporaneous  and  a  foreign  writer,  the  venerable  Bede,  to  state  that  those 
strangers  were  received,  supported,  and  educated  in  the  Irish  seminaries, 
without  remuneration  or  reward.  Abroad,  in  Germany,  Italy,  and  Prance, 
she  was  regarded  through  the  medium  of  her  pious  ecclesiastics,  who  went 
forth  as  missionaries,  imparting  to  others  the  blessings  of  religion  which 
heaven  had  bestowed  upon  themselves ;  and  judging  of  the  country  which 
produced  them,  by  their  numbers,  their  talent,  their  zeal,  but,  above  all, 
by  the  unblemished  sanctity  of  their  lives,  Ireland  was  designated  in  the 
writings  of  the  time,  as  the  "  Island  of  Saints."  This  is  an  appellation  of 
which  she  has  the  more  reason  to  be  proud,  because  it  was  not  engraved 
on  her  escutcheon  by  the  hand  of  national  vanity,  but  was  the  unsolicited 
offering,  the  spontaneous  tribute  of  foreign  admiration.  This  is  a  title  to 
which,  even  in  the  depth  of  her  political  degradation,  Ireland  looked  back 
with  a  fond,  but  saddened  recollection,  because  like  the  statues  of  illus- 
trious ancestors  in  pagan  Rome,  it  reminded  her  of  the  eminence  from 
which  she  had  fallen,  and  the  degeneracy  of  the  children  compared  with 
the  sanctity  of  their  fathers.  But  this  is  not  the  time  to  enlarge  on  that 

Neither  was  it  by  their  virtues  alone  that  the  preachers  of  Christianity 
from  Ireland,  during  those  ages,  were  distinguished  in  other  lands.  One 
of  the  writers  of  her  history,  Plowden,  himself  an  Englishman,  tells  us  that 
Alfred  the  Great,  and  England's  greatest  king,  was  educated  in  Ireland ; 
from  whence,  also,  he  brought  professors  for  that  Oxford  college  which  the 
other  day  voted  against  the  religion  of  its  founder,  and  the  country  of  its 
first  professors.  The  biographer  and  historian  of  Charlemagne  says,  that 
the  colleges  of  Paris  and  Pavia  were  founded  by  Irish  ecclesiastics.  The 
younger  Scaliger  informs  us  that  in  the  time  of  Charlemagne,  and  for  tivo 
hundred  years  after,  '■'fere  omnei  doeti"  almost  all  the  learned  men  of 
France  were  from  Ireland.  And  Doctor  Johnson  observes,  Ireland  is  known 
to  have  been  once  the  seat  of  piety  and  of  learning,  and  concludes  by  the 
expression  of  his  regret  that  more  is  not  ascertained  of  the  revolutions  of 
a  people  "so  ancient,"  says  he,  "and  once  so  illustrious."  Such  is  the  hon- 
orable testimony  borne  to  the  character  of  that  country  before  it  became 
the  prey  of  ruthless  invasion.  But  why  should  I  have  selected  Johnson 
and  Scaliger  from  a  host  of  others  ?  Because,  my  brethren,  their  evidence 
bids  defiance  to  the  common  objections  made  by  historical  skepticism,  viz  ; 
ignorance,  or  partiality  to  the  religion  or  the  soil.  Both  were  pre-eminent 
in  the  science  of  lellea-lettres ;  both  were  giants  in  literature;  both  were 
foreigners ;  both  were  Protestants. 

Such  was  the  march  of  Ireland  on  the  literary  theatre  of  the  world  be- 
fore she  was  inundated  by  the  waters  of  oppression,  from  which  she  is  now 
emerging.  She  went  forth  scattering  the  treasures  of  her  own  enlightened 
intellect,  pouring  her  own  oil  into  the  famished  lamp  of  science  wherever 
she, passed;  or  lighting  it  up  where  it  had  never  blazed  before.  Such  was 
her  zeal  to  plant  with  generous  hand  in  the  bosom  of  other  nations,  those 
seeds  of  religion  and  of  virtue  which  had  produced  the  harvest  of  holinesa 


in  her  own.  To  tlie  man  who  is  skilled  in  the  philosophy  of  believing  only 
what  he  sees  or  comprehends,  the  idea  may  appear  superstitious ;  but  to  me 
it  seems  in  accordance  with  the  certain-  though  mysterious  economy  of  Di- 
vine Providence,  that  during  this  illustrious  period  of  her  pre-emjncnce  m 
science  and  in  piety,  Ireland  was  guided  by  some  spirit  of  prophetic  benev- 
olence from  above,  that  gave  her  a  glimpse  of  her  own  future  situntion, 
and  breathed  in  her  soul  the  counsel  of  eternal  wisdom,  to  labor  while  the 
day  is,  for  the  night  cometh  when  no  man  can  work.  When  we  behold  her 
standing  on  her  own  hospitable  beach,  to  receive  the  stranger  youth  of  eve- 
ry land  with  a  mother's  affection,  does  it  not  appear  that  with  a  mother's 
prospective  solicitude,  her  vision  pierced  the  gloom  of  futurity,  and  rested 
on  that  melancholy  period  when  her  own  persecuted  sons  should  bo  obliged 
to  visit  other  climes  in  pursuit  of  science,  because  at  home  they  would  not 
be  allowed  to  drink  the  waters  of  knowledge,  except  at  fountains  which 
they  deemed  polluted  ?  As  if  she  foresaw  the  time  when  her  own  expatri- 
ated children  would  be  borne  afar,  and  afar  on  the  surge  of  every  ocean, 
and  cast  on  every  distant  shore,  there,  like  uprooted  plants,  to  perish,  un- 
less fostered  by  the  hand  of  foreign  kindness.  There  was  a  time  when  the 
other  nations  of  Europe  were  indebted  to  Ireland ;  but  her  fortunes  chang- 
ed ;  the  means  of  conferring  benefits  were  taken  from  her,  and  in  her  turn 
she  became  their  debtor.  To  the  seminaries  of  Germany  and  Italy,  and  still 
more  to  those  of  France,  she  owes,  under  the  same  providence  of  Almighty 
God,  the  unbroken  succession  of  her  priesthood  during  the  persecution  of 
her  religion ;  and  now  that  it  has  ceased,  she  acknowledges  the  obligation 
in  the  fullness  of  her  own  gratitude,  as  if  she  had  deserved  nothing  at  their 

'  About  the  close  of  the  seventh  century,  Egfred,  King  of  Northumberland, 
made  a  transitory  incursion  into  the  country,  and  this  was  the  first  foreign 
enemy,  coming  in  the  attitude  of  hostility,  that  ever  trod  on  Irish  soil. 
After  his  expulsion,  Ireland  enjoyed  her  usual  tranquillity  hntil  about  the 
beginning  of  the  ninth  century,  when  the  Danes  and  Norwegians  aimed  at, 
and  partly  succeeded  in  effecting,  what  they  considered  a  permanent  estab- 
lishment in  that  delightful  country.  The  effort,  we  are  told,  cost  them  a 
struggle  of  thirty  yeai-s ;  and  we  know  from  the  history  of  other  nations 
which  they  visited  merely  as  a  passing  scourge,  that  theu-  hatred  of  those 
studies  which  gave  polish  and  refinement  to  social  life,  was  equaled  only 
by  their  hatred  of  Christianity.  In  Ireland  they  had  time  and  opportunity 
to  indulge  the  double  hatred— they  had  abundant  material  whereon  to 
wreak  their  Gothic  vengeance,  by  destroying  monasteries,  in  which  science 
and  religion  dwelt  like  sisters  in  the  same  sanctuary,  and  against  which  the 
Danes  cherished  a  universal  and  hereditary  spite.  They  were  inhabited  by 
monks,  a  class  of  men  who  have  been  so  traduced,  and  calumniated  by  the 
learned  ingratitude  of  modern  times,  that  their  very  name  sounds  in  the 
ear  of  popular  credulity,  as  synonymous  with  ignorance  and  indolence. 
They  were  not  ignorant,  my  brethren ;  but  that  ignorance  which  is  charged 
upon  them,  would  be  at  this  day  ours,  if  they  had  not  been  learned.  One 
portion  of  their  time  was  devoted  to  prayer  and  singing  the  praises  of  God ; 
the  residue  was  employed  in  transcribing  the  Holy  Scriptures,  and  books  of 
antiquity.  They  were  not  indolent ;  on  the  contrary  we  find  them  in  every 
country,  engaged  viith  patient  industry  in  building  across  the  middle  ages 
that  br?dge  which  connects  ancient  with  modern  literature,  and  by  which 
the  wisdom  and  the  folly  of  other  days  and  of  other  generations  have  trav- 
eled down  to  us.  They  were  engaged  in  saving  whatever  of  learning  could 
be  saved  by  hujjian  exertion  from  the  ravages  of  those  turbid  waters  that 
swept  beneath  its  extensive  span.  The  annals  of  pagan  as  well  as  of  Chris- 
tian Ireland  were  deposited  in  these  monasteries,  which  were  pillaged  and 


destroyed  by  the  vandalism  of  the  northern  invaders.  Then  did  perish 
those  national  monuments,  the  absence  of  which  Doctor  Johnson,  in  the 
name  of  enlightened  posterity,  deplores,  because,  says  he,  being  the  records 
of  an  ancient  and  once  an  illustrious  people,  if  they  had  come  down  to  us, 
they  would  have  thrown  light  on  two  important  but  disputable  subjects ; 
viz :  "  the  origin  of  nations,  and  the  affinity  of  languages."  They  have  not 
come  down  to  us;  and  we  can  judge  of  ancient  Ireland,  from  Irish  docu- 
ments, only  as  we  judge  of  a  long  ruined  edifice,  by  the  quality  of  the  scat- 
tered fragments  which  strew  the  place  around.  After  the  destruction  of 
her  monasteries,  however,  in  the  ninth  and  tenth  centuries,  the  sun  of  her 
literary  glory  appears  to  have  set ;  although  the  reflection  of  his  departed 
splendor,  like  the  mellow  light  of  evening,  lingered  on  her  horizon ;  and  dur- 
ing the  darkness — the  night  that  followed — hers  were  some  of  the  bright- 
est stars  in  the  firmament  of  letters. 

The  Danes  werg  flnally  expelled,  just  time  enough  to  show  that  the  coim- 
try  was  still  unconqucred,  and  free  from  every  foreign  yoke,  when  the  Eng- 
lish commenced  its  invasion  about  the  year  1171.  Then  it  was  that  Eng- 
land's second  Henry  established  in  Ireland  a  power  which,  under  all  cir- 
cumstances, would  perhaps  have  been  a  blessing,  if  it  had  been  conducted 
on  the  principles  of  distributive  justice  or  of  common  equity ;  but  which,  as 
it  was,  operated  like  a  canker  worm  at  the  root'  of  the  nation's  happiness, 
blighting  every  virtue  that  adorns  human  nature,  and  giving  occasion  to 
the  exercise  of  every  vice  that  degrades  humanity.  But,  on  the  very  thresh- 
old of  this  topic,  a  question  arises,  and  it  is  asked  by  what  right  did  he 
Invade,  and  by  what  title  did  he  claim  the  territory  of  an  unoffending  peo- 
ple ?  Why,  the  ostensible  right  was  a  written  instrument,  obtained  by 
some  means  or  other,  almost  twenty  years  before,  from  Adrian  IV.,  Bishop 
of  Rome  and  Pontiff  of  the  Universal  Church.  In  virtue  of  this,  Ireland 
was  disposed  of  in  the  form  of  a  donation,  under  certain  stipulated  terms. 
The  invader  knew  very  -well  that  the  donation  was  a  mockery ;  but  then  it 
might  serve  a  purpose.  It  was  carefully  concealed  until  the  desired  mo- 
ment arrived ;  then  ambition  grasped  the  sword,  and  artifice  thought  to 
hide  its  lancet  point,  in  the  folds  of  this  flimsy  document ;  in  order  that 
while  the  scruples  of  the  nation  should  be  excited,  touching  the  Pope's 
authority,  its  liberties  might  be  assassinated  quietly,  and  with  as  little  waste 
of  English  blood  as  possible.  The  Irish  people  then,  as  well  as  now,  bowed 
to  the  spiritual  authority  of  the  Pope,  as  the  visible  head  of  the  Christian 
Church ;  but  then  as  well  as  now,  they  knew  that  the  act  of  Adrian  did  not 
derive  its  authority  from  Him  "  whose  kingdom  was  not  of  this  world." 
The  document 'may  have  surprised  and  divided  the  nation;  it  may  have 
weakened,  though  it  did  not  paralyze  the  arm  of  resistance ;  but  the  fact  is, 
that  at  all  times  England's  best  title  was  the  sword.  The  Irish  soon  after 
protested  publicly  against  the  whole  proceedings;  and  forwarded  to  the 
Vatican  itself  a  remonstrance,  which  is  written  in  a  tone  of  uncompromising 
complaint,  and  which,  but  for  the  deeply-wounded  spirit  of  those  who 
penned  it,  would  be  considered  reprehensible  even  at  this  day ;  such  is  the 
bitter  independence  of  its  language.  This  was  the  most  unwarrantable 
stretch  of  assumed  prerogative  in  the  annals  of  what  modern  writers  call 
papal  usurpation.  It  was  unnepessary,  it  was  unavailing,  it  was  unjust. 
Arid  having  said  thus  much,  I  will  be  permitted  to  show,  by  a  few  remarks, 
that  this  and  similar  acts  have  become  too  much  the  theme  of  satirical  ani- 
madversion and  unmerited  invective. 

Good  sense,  and  sound  criticism,  and  common  justice  require,  that  be- 
fore we  pronounce  on  the  proceedings  of  former  ages,  we  should  examine 
them  in  connection  with  the  times  in  which  they  occurred ;  the  cotempo- 
riucous  prejudices,  the  nature  of  the  governments,  the  manners  and  gen- 


eral  conditionof  society -when  they  happened,  should  all  be  thrown  into 
the  scale  of  judgment ;  and  they  would  guide  us  to  a  just  "s  erdict  of  cen- 
sure or  of  approbation.  The  direct  contrary,  however,  is  the  general  prac- 
tice with  writers  otherwise  eminent  and  learned.  They  seize  an  isolated 
fact  in  the  darkness  of  the  dark  ages,  and  drag  it  forth  naked,  divested  of 
all  its  concomitant  circumstances,  to  be  judged,  and,  as  a  matter  of  course, 
to  be  condemned  by  the  superior  light  of  the  present  day. 

If  they  allowed  it,  kowever,  to  return  naked  as  they  found  it,  the  world 
would  not  be,  as  it  is,  the  enlightened  dupe  of  unsuspected  prejudice  on 
a  thousand  historical  and  religious  topics.  But  disregarding  the_  moral 
of  the  Holy  Scripture,  they  put  new  cloth  on  old  raiment,  and  dismiss  the 
fact,  whatever  it  may  be,  in  its  chequered  and  consequently  ridiculous  dra- 
pery. Thus,  for  example,  when  we  are  told  that  Popes  interfered  with  the 
government  of  kingdoms,  it  should  not  be  left  untold  that  kings  and  na- 
tions had  first  invoked  that  interference,  and  besought  them  in  the  name 
of  humanity  and  religion,  to  protect  the  claims  of  justice,  to  prevent  civil 
war,  and  the  shedding  of  kindred  blood.  It  should  not  be  left  untold  that 
very  frequently  the  brows  to  whom  it  belonged  were  too  weak  to  sustain 
the  diadem,  against  the  usurpations  of  some  other  aspirant,  who  was 
ready  to  tear  it  away.  Interest,  in  the  form  of  chivalrous  gratitude,  not 
unfrequently  tendered  a  kingdom  at  the  feet  of  the  Pontiff,  and  found  its 
best  security  in  receiving  it  as  a  fief  of  the  Holy  See,  by  the  common 
tenure  of  the  feudal  system  which  prevailed.  Thus,  the  power  of  the 
Popes  was  as  simple  in  its  origin  as  the  power  by  which  a  priest,  or  other 
clergyman,  settles  a  dispute  between  two  neighbors,  who  appeal  to  him 
rather  than  to  the  dagger  or  the  magistrate.  The  influence  which  they 
possessed  enabled  them  to  extend  the  shield  of  peaceful  justice  for  the 
protection  of  injured  and  otherwise  defenceless  innocence.  If  they  became 
formidable  to  kings,  it  was  because  kings  laid  the  foundations  on  which 
they  built  the  edifice  of  power.  The  state  of  the  world  is  changed ;  that 
power  has  been  taken  from  them,  and  transferred  to  others.  If  it  had  not, 
the  Pope  at  this  day  could  effect,  without  bloodshed,  what  English  bayo- 
nets will  be  necessary  to  accomplish  in  the  kingdom  of  Portugal.  1  re- 
joice, for  the  sake  of  religion,  that  it  has  been  removed  from  the  chair  of 
St.  Peter ;  because  he  who  occupies  that  chair  is  not  an  angel,  but  a  hu- 
man being,  and  whenever  he  mingles  in  human  affairs  he  is  liable  to 
be  swayed  by  human  motives.  This  was  possibly  the  case  with  Adrian 
IV.;  he  was  an  Englishman,  and,  so  far  as  in  him  lay,  he  bequeathed  Ire- 
land, which  never  was  at  his  disposal,  by  feudal  right  or  otherwise ;  he  be- 
queathed it,  nevertheless,  as  an  appendage  to  his  country's  greatness.  This 
is  the  fact.  And  yet  there  are  considerations  which  might  shield  him  from 
the  harsh  severity  with  which  even  Catholic  writers  have  visited  his  mem- 
ory. He  is  known  to  have  been  a  man  austere  and  simple  in  his  manners, 
and  unblemished  in  the  sanctity  of  his  life ;  but  it  was  his  lot  to  govern 
the  Church  at  a  time  when  the  prejudices  of  temporal  power,  alluded  to 
above,  were  already  established  by  prescription.  On  the  other  hand,  the 
motives  which  prompted  him  to  the  act  were  evidently  good.  We  can  see 
by  the  very  tenor  of  the  document,  that  he  was  led  to  suppose"  the  good  of 
religion  and  the  promotion  of  piety  were  the  only  objects  for  which  Henry 
the  Second  desired  the  sovereignty  of  Ireland.  For,  my  brethren,  unre- 
strained ambition,  whether  it  operates  on  the  bosoms  of  kings  or  of  other 
men,  does  not  hesitate  to  put  on  the  appearance  of  sanctity,  to  make  use  of 
religion,  aye,  and  of  religion's  God,  as  stepping-stones  beneath  its  feet,  if 
it  cannot  otherwise  ascend  the  eminence  to  wliich'it  aspires. 

You  will  pardon  this  apparent  digression  from  my  subject.  My  limits 
would  not  allow  me  to  delineate  the  anatomy  of  Irish  history ;  I  could  only 



exhibit  tlie  mere  skeleton ;  and  as  the  concession  of  Adrian  is  one  of  its 
most  important  joints,  I  felt  prompted  by  a  sense  of  justice  to  the  calumni- 
ated dead,  to  trace  its  connection  to  the  circumstances  of  the  times  in  which 
it  took  place. 

During  the  period  subsequent  to  the  English  invasion,  we  behold  noth- 
ing but  ruin  and  desolation,  where  we  have  been  hitherto  admiring  the 
vision  of  Ireland's  now  departed  glory.  The  portion  of  the  country  which 
was  conquered  by  the  first  adventurers  was  denominated  the  Pale,  an  ap- 
propriate and  significant  term,  pregnant  with  all  the  partiality  that  power 
could  confer  on  those  who  were  within  its  limits,  and  with  all  the  injus- 
tice, tyranny,  and  oppression  which  the  spirit  of  lawless  conquest  could 
inflict  on  those  who  were  without.  By  virtue  of  the  state  secret,  the  little 
wire,  whicli  was  carefully  concealed  from  the  vulgar  gaze,  but  which 
moved  every  spring  in  the  machinery  of  government,  the  seeds  of  national 
jealousy,  of  reciprocal  hatred  and  revenge,  were  sown  and  fostered ;  and 
when  these  passions  grew  up  into  a  harvest  of  political  disorder,  then 
those  who  had  moved  the  wire  came  forth  from  behind  the  curtain,  in  the 
name  of  loyalty,  to  reap  the  profits.  They  had  a  right  to  them.  Thus,  the 
laws  produced  a  kind  of  refles  operation  profitable  to  the  governor  and  his 
minions,  in  proportion  as  it  was  ruinous  to  the  people.  One  deputy  after 
another  appeared  to  represent  the  majesty  of  England ;  and  with  few  ex- 
ceptions, private  interest,  avarice,  and  ambition  were  the  standards  which 
regulated  their  administration.  They  went  forth  at  intervals  to  extend 
the  "  pale ;"  and  when  they  had  depopulated  a  section  of  the  cou'utry, 
leaving  behind  them,  not  the,  conquered  inhabitants,  but  the  silence  of 
death  and  the  solitude  of  the  sepulchre,  the  news  was  transmitted  to  Eng- 
land, and  reached  the  monarch's  ear  in  the  character  of  a  victory  "  gained 
over  the  natives." 

In  the  judicial  department  the  case  was  even  worse,  if  possible.  The 
laws  stood  at  the  portals  of  judgment,  to  prevent  justice  from  entering; 
and  when  murder  appeared,  his  sabre  reeking  with  human  blood,  the  first 
question  of  him  who  sat  upon  the  tribunal  was  touching  the  birth-place  of 
tlie  fallen  victim,  an  important  question ;  for  if  he  was  one  of  the  original 
jiroprietorsof  the  soil,  which  they  expressed  by  calling  him  a  "mere  Irish- 
man," then  the  statute  declared  that  it  was  no  felony  to  kill  him.  The 
whole  nation,  at  different  times,  petitioned  for  the  protection  of  the  English 
laws,  but  their  petitions  were  as  often  rejected.  This  is  a  sketch  of  the 
policy  adopted  and  pursued  by  the  government  in  Ireland,  from  the  inva- 
sion down  to  the  accession  of  Queen  Elizabeth ;  but  the  nature  of  the 
present  occasion  would  make  it  criminal  in  me  to  torture  your  feelings  by 
any  further  description. 

This  bad  system  of  government  naturally  caused  Ireland  to  retrograde 
in  morals  and  in  virtue,  as  well  as  in  science  and  literature.  And  yet.  Sir 
John  Bavis,  an  Englishman  and  a  Protestant,  tells  us  there  was  less  crime 
there  than  in  England,  in  the  reign  of  James  I.,  200  years  a^o.  He  was 
then  attorney-general,  and  the  first  in  that  capacity  who  visited  all  the 
parts  of  Ireland  ;  his  office  qualified  him  to  pronounce,  and,  comparing  the 
.innals  of  guilt  in  both  countries,  he  strikes  the  balance  of  morality  decidedly 
in  favor  of  Ireland.  A  similar  testimony  was  given,  the  other  day,  in  the 
House  of  Peers  (where  it  would  not  have  passed  uncontradicted,  if  it  had  , 
not  been  susceptible  of  proof),  by  ano^ier  Protestant  nobleman,  that  at  this 
moment  the  proportion  of  crime  is  doubly  greater  in  England  than  in  the 
unhappy  country  of  whose  ignorance  and  vices  so  much  has  been  said,  even 
on  this  side  of  the  Atlantic.  England,  and  every  other  country,  has  its 
sijlendid  virtues,  and  I  am  as  ready  to  proclaim  them  as  I  am  to  admit  that 
Ireland  has  her  numerous  vices.     But  I  mention  these  facts  as  a  matter  of 


pleasing  astonishment,  that  her  vices  are  not  more.  When  we  reflect  that 
the  blessings  of  justice  and  mercy,  and  an  impartial  government,  -which 
makes  other  nations  virtuous  and  happy,  have  been  denied  to  Ireland  for 
nearly  seven  hundred  years,  we  would  hardly  expect  to  find  a  remnant  of 
virtue  left;  but  to  see  her  surpass  them  in  the  test  of  comparison,  this  must 
appear  a  phenomenon  in  the  order  of  morality.  For,  my  brethren,  there  is 
a  connection  between  the  cause  and  the  effect  in  moral  as  well  as  physical 
nature.  If  the  tempest  roll  in  fury  on  the  smoothest  sea,  that  sea  will  im- 
bibe a  portion  of  the  spirit  that  disturbed  it ;  it  will  rise  from  its  slumbers, 
it  will  foam  and  rage,  and  woe  to  the  fragile  bark  that  is  overtaken  by  its 
indignation.  So,  if  a  people  are  oppressed,  if  their  treaties  are  violated,  if 
their  generous  confidence  is  abused,  and  their  professions  disbelieved,  and 
their  honor  doubted,  and  their  sacred  rights  invaded,  and  their  liberties 
trodden  under  foot — if,  in  a  word,  they  have  lost  everything  except  a  paltry 
life,  which,  but  for  the  hope  of  religion,  would  not  be  worth  endurance, 
then  it  is  not  to  be  wondered  at,  if  such  a  people  sometimes  turn  on  their 
oppressors  in  the  spirit  of  vindictive  retribution.  This  has  been  the  case 
more  than  once  in  unhappy  Ireland.  No  nation  could  feel  more  keenly  the 
disgrace  of  her  degradation,  the  injustic^^f  her  bondage  :  is  it,  then,  mat- 
ter of  surprise  that  the  peculiar  sensibilities  of  her  heart  sometimes  rose  to 
her  head,  and  engendered  there  that  species  of  political  frenzy  which  broke 
out  at  intervals  in  fitful,  wild,  and  sometimes  infuriated  ebullitions  of 
revenge  ? 

For  the  fact  is,  that  Ireland  at  all  times  understood  the  equal  rights  to 
which  she  was  en.titled,  ,and  the  measure  of  strict  impartial  justice  without 
which  she  would  not,  she  could  not,  be  satisfied.  Begin  at  whatever  epoch 
you  think  proper  to  select,  and  descend  from  one  step  to  another  of  her 
history  down  to  the  present  day,  test  the  feelings  of  every  generation 
as  you  pass,  and  you  will  perceive  that  no  duration  of  time  could  ever  tame 
the  mind  of  Ireland  to  the  yoke  of  unmerited  and  ignominious  servitude. 
You  might  tell  the  youth,  the  stripling  of  the  village,  or  the  peasant  boy, 
around  whose  tender  hands  you  bound  the  manacles  in  punishment  of  his 
birth-place,  that  they  came  to  him  by  lineal  descent,  that  his  fathers  had 
worn  them  for  ages,  that  they  were  consecrated  to  his  family,  hereditary 
appendage  of  the  soil ;  you  might  tell  him  all  this,  and  instead  of  concili- 
ating, you  only  roused  his  impatience  for  the  moment  when  he  might 
burst  the  fetters,  and  remove  the  malediction.  What !  injustice  heredi- 
tary ?  Oh,  no.  But  one  thing  was  hereditary — that  magnanimous  and 
immortal  spirit  of  the  nation,  which  for  so  many  ages  has  been  tortured, 
but  could  not  be  broken  on  oppression's  wheel.  The  neck  of  Ireland  might 
have  been  bound  at  any  time,  on  a  level  with  her  feet,  in  the  dust ;  but,  even 
then,  her  soul,  towering  in  the  consciousness  of  its  own  original  integrity, 
stood  erect,  unsubdued,  unbending,  and— indomitable.  This  was  the 
secret  of  that  turbulence  of  character  which  ignorance  has  ascribed  to  her, 
and  recorded  against  her  in  the  book  of  calumny.  Until  recently  there 
w:is  no  mirror  to  reflect  ou  England  and  on  the  world  the  ima^e  of  her 
feelings,  but  there  were  at  all  times  the  scattered  materials  from  which 
such  a  mirror  might  have  been  fabricated.  Those  feelings  were  like  ob- 
structed waters,  breaking  out  irregularly  wherever  they  found  an  issue  • 
when,  at  length,  a  superior  mind  arose  to  preside  over  them  •  then  they 
flowed  m  one  direction,  and,  as  they  advanced,  acquired  the  easy  maiestv 
as  well  as  the  irresistible  influence  oT  a  mighty  tide,  which  swept  away  the 
barriers  that  had  hitherto  prevented  justice  and  peace  from  embracine 
each  other.  ° 

The  laws  of  England,  which  were  refused  to  the  country  while  their 
operation  might  have  been  salutary,  were  extended  in  the  reign  of  Eliza- 


beth  when  they  had  been  new-modeled  in  accordance  with  the  change  o( 
relijiOn  in  the  state,  and  were  no  longer  desirable.  Then,  for  the  first 
time,  they  took  their  march  throughout  all  Ireland,  bearing  liberty  in  one 
hand  and  degradation  in  the  other.  If  they  had  asked  the  apple  of  her  eye, 
in  exchange  for  the  boon  of  freedom  and  of  justice,  Ireland  would  hare  given 
it.  But  much  as  she  loved  civil  liberty,  there  was  one  thing  that  she  loved 
infinitely  more  :  it  was  the  faith  which  she  received  in  olden  times.  This 
she  regarded  as  the  boon  of  heaven :  it  was  hers  before  she  knew  England ; 
it  was  at  all  times  the  solace  of  her  grief;  it  was  the  anchor  of  her  last  and 
best  hope,  and  neither  bribery  nor  persecution  could  detach  her  from  it :  she  is 
at  all  times  seen  clinging  to  it  with  the  tenacity  of  despair:  thus  leaving  an- 
other instance  to  prove  that  faitli  is  stronger  than  death,  and  that  persecution 
can  make  martyi's  or  hypocrites,  and  there  its  power  ends.  The  civil  oppres- 
sion of  Ireland  would  have  terminated  the  moment  she  embraced,  or  pretended 
to  embrace,  the  religion  which  the  Parliament  had  decreed,  and  were  deter- 
mined to  support.  But  she  saw  no  reason  to  believe  in  its  Veracity,  and  to 
profess  it  would  have  been  hypocrisy ;  it  would  have  been  acting  against  her 
conscience  ;  it  would  have  been  apostasy  from  her  God ;  it  would,  in  fine,  have 
been  that  base  thing  of  which  Ireland  has  proved  herself  incapable.  For  this 
she  is  entitled  to  the  admiration  of  the  world ;  because,  for  this  she  sufiered. 
The  laws  continued  unequal,  and  the  inevitable  result  of  their  operation  was  to 
break  the  intercourse  of  charity  among  men  of  different  religions,  arraying  the 
Catholic  against  the  Protestant,  and  the  Protestant  against  the  Catholic ;  and 
in  spite  of  their  united  efforts  to  exclude  it,  intruding  perpetually  to  disturb 
the  harmonies  of  social  and  sometimes  domestic  life. 

You  may  be  surprised,  my  brethren,  that  I  have  dwelt  so  long  on  the  early 
portion  of  Ireland's  history,  and  so  briefly  on  the  civil  thraldom  and  religious 
persecution  which  have  succeeded  each  other  since  the  English  invasion  in  the 
twelfth  century.  But  why  should  it  be  otherwise,  when  the  wisdom  of  better 
times  has  applied  an  effectual  remedy  to  the  evils  of  that  long-injured  country, 
and  she  herself  has  already  forgiven,  what  it  may  not  be  so  easy  to  forget  ?  It 
was  but  yesterday  the  Legislature  of  Great  Britain  covered  over  her  wounds 
with  the  mantle  of  justice,  and  mine  shall  not  be  the  hand  to  tear  it  off  so 
soon  Those  wounds  already  begin  to  cicatrize ;  and  they  say  that  darkness 
and  silence  are  best  calculated  to  promote  convalescence ;  and,  besides,  if  I  did 
exhibit  to  j'our  view  a  full  picture  of  Ireland's  wrongs,  pity  would  rise  from 
the  canvass,  and  extort  the  tribute  of  your  tears;  whereas  the  occasion  calls  for 
no  tears,  except  peradventure  those  of  gratulation  and  of  joy. 

But  my  brethren,  I  would  not  have  you  retire  from  this  place  unim- 
proved by  the  moral  of  a  subject,  which,  but  for  its  illustrative  connection 
with  the  state  of  fallen  humanity,  would  be  altogether  foreign  from  a 
Christian  pulpit.  Let  us  not  forget,  that  every  one  of  us  has  to  watch  the 
first  movements  of  the  very. same  passions  which  have  produced  so  many 
black  clouds  in  the  moral  as  well  as  political  atmosphere  of  now-regenerated 
Ireland.  For,  to  trace  her  misfortunes  to  any  national  peculiarity  in  the 
English  character,  would  be  unsatisfactory  and  unjust.  We  all  know  that 
the  genuine  English  character  is  proverbial  for  its  sterling,  almost  infalli- 
ble, integrity — the  more  to  be  admired,  because  it  is  unclogged  by  any  out- 
ward display.  Neither  would  it  be  just  to  trace  them  to  the  religion  of 
England,  because  Ireland's  oppression  commenced  nearly  four  hundred 
years  before  that  religion  existed.  Religion  is  the  daughter  of  God ;  her 
office  is  to  pluck  thorns  out  of  the  human  breast,  not  to  plant  them — to 
prepare  men  for  a  better  world,  by  raising,  not  depressing  them  in  the  scale 
of  virtue  here.  It  would  be  cruel  to  charge  religion  with  the  crimes  of 
which  Ireland  has  been  the  victim,  not  only  since  the  Beformation,  but  be- 
fore, when  there  was  but  one  religion,  and  the  good  of  both  nations  wor- 


sTiipped  God  around  the  same  altars.  Where,  then,  shall  we  find  the  solu- 
tion ?  Go  to  the  ground  where  children  are  at  play ;  wait  till  a  quarrel 
arises,  and  the  spoils  are  to  be  divided ;  and  ascertain  how  it  happens  that 
the  largest  portion  of  the  common  tojs  remains  hy  right  in  possession  of 
the  strongest  or  most  artful  competitor.  Here  is  the  solution.  Here  is  the 
infant  passion;  but  do  not  lose  sight  of  it  here;  watch  it  up  to  manhood, 
pursue  it  across  the  ocean  to  the  shores  of  Africa,  and  there  you  will  detect 
it,  putting  manacles,  by  the  same  right,  on  hands  that  were  free.  Observe 
its  operation  on  a  large  scale,  and  you  will  behold  it,  as  in  unhappy  Ire- 
land, by  tlie  same  right,  grinding  down  the  immortal  energies  of  a  chival- 
rous nation  under  the  millstone  of  predominant,  and  therefore  irresponsible 

The  history  of  that  country  is  the  tragedy  of  the  bad  passions,  and 
every  good  man  rejoices  that  it  has  been  brought  to  a  close.  We  rejoice, 
because  the  Catholics  have  obtained  that  to  which  they  were  at  all  times  en- 
titled by  the  rights  of  nature  and  the  laws  of  justice ;  we  rejoice  more,  be- 
cause in  this  reason  and  principle  have  triumphed  over  prejudice  and  folly. 
We  rejoice  for.  the  sake  of  England  as  well  as  Ireland,  for  the  sake  of 
Protestants  as  well  as  Catholics.  We  rejoice  in  the  name  of  all  the  virtues, 
in  the  name  of  justice,  and  of  peace,  and  of  humanity,  and  of  religion,  and 
of  God.  To  Him  is  the  glory  and  the  praise.  He  has  made  use  of  human 
means,  and  great  must  be  the  satisfaction  of  those  who  have  been  made 
the  instruments  of  a  victory,  different  from  other  victories,  in  this,  that  it 
has  cost  neither  blood  nor  tears.  Does  not  every  good  heart  in  this  assem- 
bly rejoice  ?  Surely  that  generous  spirit  of  our  happy  country,  the  freest 
under  the  sun,  that  spirit  which  lately  cheered  the  captive  onward  in  the 
enterprise,  is  gladdened  by  its  success.  Those  who  look  back  to  Ireland  as 
the  home  of  their  infancy,  must  feel  the  influence  of  a  yet  stronger  sensa- 
tion. But  what  must  be  the  feast  which  this  day  presents  to  the  feelings 
of  those  who  in  times  of  greater  peril,  and  for  the  object  we  commemorate, 
risked  their  lives,  their  fortunes,  and  their  sacred  honor — men  whose  for- 
tune it  was  to  have  been  born  in  Ireland,  with  a  genius  which  the  Crown 
could  not  purchase,  the  Parliament  could  not  crush,  and  who  were  con- 
strained to  leave  their  country,  because  — they  loved  their  country  too 

Greece  would  have  immortalized  them ;  and  America,  the  country  of 
their  choice,  does  honor  them,  as  they  do  honor  to  their  various  profes- 
sions ;  their  pens  have  been  employed  even  here  in  the  vindication  of  their 
degraded  country  and  their  countrymen.  The  stigma  has  been  removed ; 
and  to  them  this  occasion  must  be  a  joyful  one.  Neither  is  that  affection 
diminished  by  the  consideration  that  others  bear  away  the  honor  of  hav- 
ing achieved  an  event,  which  their  exertions  contributed  so  much  to  accel- 
erate. Posterity  will  do  them  justice;  and  their  names,  some  of  which  I 
could,  but  do  not  mention,  will  stand  conspicuous  on  the  records  of  Irish 
talent  and  of  Irish  patriotism. 

But  enumeration  would  be  endless  as  the  subject  itself.  I  thank  you 
sincerely  for  your  kind  and  patient  attention ;  I  will  now  descend  from  this 
place  to  mingle  with  you  in  the  expression  of  our  common  gratitude  to 
Almighty  God,  for  the  termination  of  those  moral  evils  to  which  I  have 
.'lUuded— and  with  you  also,  to  breathe  the  prayer  of  hope,  that  henceforth 
the  inhabitants  of  Ireland,  and  not  of  Ireland  alone,  but  of  every  country  on 
the  globe,  may  live  as  brethren,  if  not  in  religion,  at  least  in  social  kind- 
ness, in  the  bond  of  holy  peace,  in  the  practice  of  virtue,  and  of  piety  and 
fidelity  to  our  common  and  blessed  God.  This  is  the  benediction  I  would 
invoke  upon  you  and  on  the  world.  In  the  name  of  the  Father,  and  of 
^he  Son,  and  of  the  Holy  Ghost. — Amen. 



On  July  20th,  1840,  an  important  meeting  of  the  Catholics  of  New  Yorl< 
Was  held  in  the  school-house  attached  to  St.  Patrick's  Church,  at  which 
the  Very  Rev.  Dr.  Power  presided  ;  and  in  accordance  with  the  wishes  of 
the  Right  Reverend  and  respected  Bishop,  stated  to  the  meeting  the  naked 
(ruth  respecting  the  origin  of  the  present  agitation  of  their  claims  as 
Catholics  to  a  portion  of  the  School  Fund  of  this  State,  for  the  education 
of  their  children.  Towards  the  end  of  last  January,  Dr.  Power  received  a 
letter  from  the  Rev.  Mr.  Schneller,  of  Albany,  earnestly  urging  that  he 
should  come  and  judge  for  himself,  and  see  how  easy  it  would  be  for  the 
Catholics  to  obtain  a  portion  of  that  fund  which  was  set  apart  by  the  law 
for  the  education  of  all  the  children  of  the  commonwealth,  but  of  the 
benefits  of  which,  under  its  present  management,  they  were  unable,  as 
Catholics,  conscientiously  to  partake.  After  some  deliberation  he  called  a 
meeting  of  the  Trustees  of  all  the  Catholic  churches  in  the  city,  and  laid 
the  subject  before  them.  He  knew  that  amongst  those  trustees  were  men 
of  different  shades  of  politics,  but  he  also  knew,  and  he  said  it  in  the 
fullness  and  sincerity  of  his  heart,  that  politics  had  nothing  to  do  with  the 
question  upon  which  he  convened  them ;  that  it  was  a  question  which 
appealed  to  every  one  of  them  as  Catholics  with  equal  force,  whatever 
might  be  their  respective  political  opinions,  and  he  anticipated  no  dissen- 
sion, no  wavering,  no  hesitation  amongst  them  on  this  all-important  ques- 
tion, and  he  was  not  disappointed.  They  unanimously  resolved  to  apply 
for  a  portion  of  that  fund  to  which  they  had  contributed  as  citizens  of 
this  State,  and  to  which  they  were  undoubtedly  entitled,  and  for  that 
purpose  agreed  that  he  should  go  to  Albany ;  and  he  did  go  accordingly. 
And  having  gone,  he  found  nothing  but  honesty  of  purpose,  as  he  believed, 
and  he  returned  to  this  city  thoroughly  persuaded  that  the  application 
would  be  successful  if  it  was  pressed  forward  with  Catholic  unanimity. 
And  this  expectation  he  doubted  not  would  have  been  realized  but  for  an 
unfortunate  article  that  appeared  in  the  Truth  Teller  of  this  city,  which 
endeavored  to  convert  what  was  purely  a  question  of  Catholic  and  religious 
principle  into  a  political  one — slandered  their  motives,  and  declared  that 
with  sinister  and  unworthy  objects  in  view,  they  were  preparing  to  press 
upon  the  Corporation  of  the  city  a  demand  which,  if  complied  with, 
would  be  a  palpat)le  violation  of  the  constitution  of  the  State,  and  the 
equality  of  rights  which  it  secured  to  all  citizens.  This  opening  of  the 
warfare  against  the  Catholics  proceeding  from  amongst  themselves,  gave 
color  and  support  to  the  hostility  which  they  afterwards  experienced. 

The  Eight  Rev.  Bishop  HuGnES  then  rose  to  address  the  meeting,  and  was 
received  witli  enthusiastic  plaudits.     When  they  had  subsided,  he  s.iid,  he 


had  listened  with  great  attention  to  the  explanations  offered  by  the  Very 
Reverend  gentleman  who  presided  over  the  meeting,  and  to  those  nhich  tol- 
lowed  from  Dr.  Sweeney;  and  it  afforded  him  very  great  pleasure  and  con- 
solation to  have  reason  to  believe,  from  the  solemnity  of  the  statements  ot 
both,  that  a  higher  and  a  holier  feeling  than  mere  politics  was  the  soul  ol 
this  agitation.  (Applause.)  The  reason  why  he  expressed  this  pleasure  was, 
that  of  all  things  he  dreaded  the  introduction  of  political  feelings  as  most 
destructive  of  their  internal  peace,  and  of  that  calmness  of  mind  which  dis- 
poses man  either  for  just  judgment  or  the  discharge  of  his  religious  obliga- 
tions. He  had  known  nothing  which  was  so  intoxicating  in  its  effects,  even 
on  good  men.  as  that  unexplained  chapter  in  the  history  of  the  human  mind, 
the  intluenceof  party  politics.  He  was  glad,  therefore,  to  hear  the  disclaim- 
ers which  were  made  this  evening ;  for  when  he  had  read,  on  a  foreign  shore, 
of  the  attempt  made  in  one  of  the  churches  here  to  distribute  papers  in  the 
pews,  he  felt  how  far  that  feeling  influenced  the  actions  of  men.  He  had 
come  to  this  meeting  because  he  believed  it  was  not  a  political  meeting ;  be- 
cause the  question  which  brought  that  meeting  together  was  infinitely  above 
anything  that  could  be  found  in  mere  politics.  '  It  was  a  question,  too,  that 
was  not  new  to  him ;  it  was  a  question  on  which  he  had  deeply  reflected 
before  he  had  departed  for  a  foreign  land,  not  fores^eing  that  it  would  arise 
before  his  return,  the  question,  namely,  whether  Catholic  children  were  ex- 
posed to  the  danger  of  forfeiting  their  faith  by  an  attendance  on  these  schools. 
For  that  purpose  he  had  obtained  a  copy  of  all  the  books  which  it  was  stated 
to  him  were  used  in  these  schools,  and  he  had  examined  them  deliberately ; 
and  though  he  found  some  things  that  were  objectionable,  yet,  on  the  whole, 
they  appeared  to  him  sufficiently  free  from  anything  that  could  be  construed 
into  a  direct  attack  on  their  religious  principles.  He  had  had  reason,  however, 
since  his  return,  to  believe  that,  in  fact,  all  the  books  had  not  been  submitted 
to  him,  but  that  some  books  which  contained  objectionable  matter  were 
withheld.  He  had  seen  one  such  at  least,  since,  and  he  was  satisfied  that  no 
Catholic  parent,  who  felt  his  responsibility  to  God,  could  suffer  it  as  a  school- 
book  in  the  hands  of  his  children;  and  therefore  it  was,  that  he  was  inter- 
ssted  in  the  question  which  then  engaged  their  attention ;  not  as  a  politi- 
cian, bat  as  a  Bishop  having  charge  of  this  Diocese,  answerable  to  the  Eter- 
nal judge  for  the  discharge  of  his  responsible  duty,  which  included  a  jealous 
and  tender  solicitude  that  the  infant  mind  received  only  suitable  food,  and 
such  instruction  as  was  salutary  in  its  tendency.  Then,  with  these  remarks, 
and  those  which  had  gone  before,  he  felt,  if  politics  were  mixed  up  with  the 
question  under  discussion,  by  others,  that  meeting  was  not  responsible  for  it ; 
and  he  hoped  that  in  future  time,  politics,  except  as  a  corollary,  would  be 
wholly  left  out  of  consideration,  and  that  parties  and  party  men  would  be 
left  wholly  to  themselves.  They  would  see,  before  he  finished,  the  necessity 
of  this  course.  But  if  he  could  have  thought  that  mere  politics  had  brought 
them  together,  he  should  have  felt  it  a  reproach  to  themselves,  and  a  dese- 
cration of  that  place,  connected  as  it  was  with  the  Cathedral  of  the  Diocese. 
He  therefore  again  rejoiced  that  higher  purposes  had  brought  them  together ; 
and  he  would  observe  that,  feeling  as  he  did  the  injustice  exercised  towards 
the  Catholics  by  the  operation  of  the  Common  School  system,  as  it  was  now 
dispensed,  if  they  had  not  been  previously  called  together,  before  he  had 
been  home  three  weeks,  he  would  have  warned  Catholics  either  to  have  that 
system  of  education  expurgated,  or  to  withdraw  their  children  from  it. 
True,  it  professed  to  be  a  system  of  Common  School  education,  but  it  was 
equally  true,  that  while  its  great  professed  charm  was  the  expulsion  of  sec- 
tarianism, there  was  in  it,  and  inseparable  from  it,  a  sectarianism  of  another 
kind,  which  was  sapping  the  young  minds  of  the  Catholic  children ;  and  un- 
happily, though  parents  might  impart  instruction  to  their  offspring,  the  ope- 


dtion  cf  this  system  was  snoh  that  the  instruction  of  tlie  parent  was  lilce 
water  diopped  into  a  vessel  tliat  leaked  bolow ;  it  passed  away,  and  nothing 
was  found  remaining;  the  labor  of  parents  was  neutralized  lay  secret  influ- 
ences, and  notwithstanding  all  that  tlieir  parents  and  pastors  were  doing  to 
engraft  in  the  minds  of  their  children  the  taith  they  had  received  from  their 
fathers,  tliey  are  entirely  disappointed  in  the  result.  It  was  not  his  intention 
to  examine  at  length  the  tendency  of  the  system  in  its  civil  and  social  bear- 
vngs,  nor  to  inquire  whether  a  wise  statesman  would  adopt  such  a  system, 
but  he  hesitated  whether  wise  statesmen,  in  a  country  lil^e  this,  would 
recommend  it,  even  under  these  relations.  Did  they  know  whence  it  came  2 
It  originated  in  the  dark  regions  of  Prussia.  And  why?  Because  the  King 
of  Prussia  saw  the  time  was  coming  when  the  people  wonld  be  educated ; 
and  with  the  wisdom  and  cunning  of  absolute  diplomacy,  he  thought  that 
education,  which  the  people  were  determined  to  have,  might  be  made  by 
delicate  means,  and  skillful  management,  an  admirable  instrument  for  work-' 
ing  out  the  purposes  of  enlightened  despotism.  Hence  the  Common  School 
system  of  that  country.  And  we  all  know  what  grandiloquent  praises  were 
bestowed  on  the  great  and  liberal  monarch.  Men  exclaimed,  "  See  what  even 
the  absolute  King  of  Prussia  has  done  for  the  cause  of  education !"  Oh  I  but 
he  took  care  to  have  the  masters  and  the  whole  system  under  his  own  con- 
trol That  scheme  having  succeeded,  another  was  introduced  on  a  still  more 
comprehensive  plan,  viz.,  apian  not  only  of  a  common  education,  bu-l;  of  a  com- 
mon religion.  In  those  dominions  there  were  two  distinct  branches,  the 
Lutherans  and  the  Calvinists  (they  knew  that  the  Catholics  were  not  the 
subjects  for  such  an  experiment),  and  these  two  branches  were  compelled  to 
meet,  where  they  never  met  before,  and  read  a  common  liturgy.  Tlie  King 
allowed  them,  indeed,  their  own  opinions  in  private :  one  might  be  Lutheran 
and  the  other  Calvinist,  in  private ;  but,  for  the  good  of  the  State  and  the 
general  harmony,  they  were  made  to  coalesce  in  a  common  ritual,  prepared 
by  himself.  He  carried  this  system  with  the  Protestants;  but  he  could  not 
with  the  Catholics.  (Applause.)  From  that  country,  then,  this  common 
education  system  spread,  and  in  France  education  is  a  mere  bureau  of  the 
Police,  and  yet  government  wants  credit  for  this  syste-n  of  education, 
and  for  taking  from  the  parent  his  peculiar  duties.  They  go  to  the  parent 
and  say,  in  effect,  "AVe  are  more  interested  in  the  education  of  your  children 
than  you  can  be." 

The  Right  Rev.  Bishop  continued:  God  forbid  that  he  should  even  suspect 
that  our  Government  had  such  feelings.  The  policy  of  statesmen  might  be 
bad,  while  their  intentions  were  good,  and  that  the  policy  of  this  system  was 
bad  would  be  seen,  by  reflecting  how  it  operated  in  religious  belief.  They 
wished  a  common  education,  because  education  is  one  of  the  greatest  of 
blessings,  and  they  knew  no  religious  denomin.ation  would  have  their  con- 
sciences tyrannized  over.  They  exclude  all  sectarianism,  so  called  ;  but  they 
have  here  a  secret  power  of  deceit,  which,  wherever  they  go,  operates  on 
the  young  mind.  Now, 'this  sy-stera  w.<is  manifestly  not  essential  to  the 
preservation  of  the  United  States,  or  of  this  State  ;  and  what  were  its  bear- 
ii\gs  on  the  inhabitants  of  the  State?  The  system  has  not  yet  been  te.sted  by 
its  results;  sufiioient  time  has  not  elapsed  to  develop  them;  but  when  they 
reflected  that  all  morality  was  founded  on  religion,  and  that  this  was  ail 
attempt  to  make  man  moral  on  the  basis  of  education  without  religion, 
ho  would  ask  what  could  be  the  harvest  that  such  culture  would  produce, 
and  he  replied,  time  alone  can  proclaim  and  determine.  For  his  own  part, 
he  was  of  opinion  though  it  was  not  nominally  infidelity,  that  it  was  practical 
infidelity,  and  that,  instead  of  sectarianism,  they  would  have  those  with  no 
feeling  in  favor  of  religion;  that  the  bearings  of  the  system  were  to  produce 
men  with  no  feeling  but  of  indifference  for  religion,  unless,  perhaps,  a  feeling  • 


of  contempt  for  religion.  The  wise,  the  immortal  "Washington,  he  who  had 
so  much  talent  and  so  much  dignity  of  character,  leaving,  as  it  were,  the  lasi 
words  of  the  dying  patriot  to  his' country,  said,  "Beware  of  the. man  who 
attempts  to  inculcate  morality  without  religion."  (Applause.)  That  was 
Washington ;  and  he  wondered  whether  the  advocates  of  this  system,  who 
])roclaimed  as  a  point  of  merit  that  it  excluded  all  religion,  conceived  them- 
selves to  be  following  in  the  footsteps  of  the  illustrious  Washington.  The 
Right  Rev.  Prelate  th?n  said  he  would  pass  from  that  to  the  religious  bear- 
ings of  the  question,'and  he  thought  he  could  state  to  them  safely  that  a 
Catholic  could  not  conscientiously  approve  this  system,  if  he  were  an  enlight- 
ened Catholic,  and  understood  his  duty  to  his  God  and  the  principles  of  his 
religion,  and  remembered  that  education  comprehended  the  mysterious  'de- 
velopment of  the  young  mind,  with  its  three-fold  faculties  of  will,  memory, 
and  understanding.  The  inculcation  of  knowledge  is  only  a  part  of  an  en- 
lightened system  of  education;  a  training  of  the  wiLr,  is  as  necessary  as  the 
cultivation  of  the  other  faculties  of  the  mind,  and  as  the  Common  School  sys- 
tem is  in  this  respect  deficient,  he  repeated  that  a  parent  who  undei'stood 
that  system,  and  had  a  knowledge  of  his  religion  and  of  his  own  responsi- 
bility, would  never  submit  to  it.  The  Catholic  primitive,  continuous,  per- 
petual church  never  recognized  the  principles  of  leaving  the  mind  of  a  child 
without  religious  culture  until  it  grew  up.  Such  a  course  was  contrary  to 
the  spirit  of  their  church,  and  was  contrary  to  the  practice  and  preaching 
of  the  apostles  to  the  Pagans ;  for  when  they  converted  the  Pagan  head  of  a 
family,  the  children  were  also  trained  up  to  the  church  as  a  part  of  the 
formation  of  the  mind.  The  parent  was  the  coadjutor  of  the  pastor,  and 
both  were  like  guardian  angels  over  the  tender  mind,  and  thus  they  transmit- 
ted the  blessings  they  enjoyed  to  their  children.  Therefore,  he  said,  this 
common  system  was  Protestant,  but  it  was  not  the  system  Catholics  could 
adopt  with  their  children,  because  they  gave  religious  instruction  to  their 
children  as  a  duty  which  was  imperative,  while  Protestants  were  indepen- 
dent of  religious  education,  and  were  of  opinion  that  it  was  best  to  have 
religion  to  come  at  some  uncertain  period,  when  a  change  of  heart  would 
occur,  and  a  person  was  to  "join  the  church."  Bat  Catholics  Ijad  the 
spiritual  interests  of  their  children  at  heart,  and  their  own  responsibility 
for  their  eternal  welfare ;  and  though  by  sending  them  to  these  Com- 
mon Schools  they  might  not  be  taught  Presbyterianism,  or  Episcopalian- 
ism,  or  Baptism;  yet,  if  by  drop  following  drop,  if  by  expression  following 
expression,  their  young  minds  should  be  influenced,  alienated,  and  imper- 
ceptibly drawn  from  their  own  faith,  he  asked,  could  a  parent,  knowing  his 
obligation  to  God,  permit  it.  He  contended  for  the  right  of  conscience,  aud 
for  the  sacred  right  of  every  man  to  educate  his  own  children ;  and  when 
these  are  the  consequences  that  follow  this  system  of  Common  School  educa- 
tion, he  asked  if  it  were  just  to  tax  such  a  man  for  its  support,  while  its  ten- 
dency was  to  draw  away  the  mind  of  his  child  from  the  religion  which  ho 
professed  and  which  he  desired  to  teach  him.  -(Applause.)  The  question 
was  a  simple  one,  and  he  was  sure  they  would  see  but  very  little  ditf'erence 
between  it  and  the  question  of  tithes  for  the  support  of  the  Protestant  church 
in  England  and  Ireland.  To  be  sure,  in  those  countries  they  had  uot  ex- 
cluded the  Catholics  from  the  churches:  they  said,  our  churches  are  open  ; 
we  have  provided  them  expressly  for  your  benefit;  if  you  don't  come,  it  is 
your  own  fault ;  but  whether  you  come  or  not,  you  must  give  us  y<iiir  mon- 
ey, and  they  did  accordingly  take  the  Catholics'  money.  Did  the  Catholics 
submit?  No,  they  adhered  to  their  religion,  and  iVhen  they  did  not  put 
their  own  hands  into  their  pockets,  somebody  else  did,  and  took  out  their 
money  for  them.  (Laughte-r.)  He  did  not  ask  for  the  Catholics  anj  thing 
that  was  not  just;  that  was  not  constitutional.     All  laws  of  the  country— 


all  (Constitutional  laws — are  necessarily  founded  on  the  principle  wliicli  se. 
cures  to  every  man  his  religious  rights,  and  if  any  law  trenches  on  that 
right,  he  asserted  that  it  was  not,  and  could  not  he  constitutional.  In  this 
he  was  borne  out  even  hy  the  former  practice  of  those  who  administered  tho 
school  fund.  The  fact  was,  that  for  a  longtime  this  money  was  distributed 
among  the  different  religious  societies  for  the  purpose  of  education.  He  was 
told  there  were  1,500  Catholic  oliildreti  attending  these  schools:  and  suppose 
Catholics  gave  them  the  same  education  tliat  they  would  get  in  those  schools, 
did  they  notefiect  the  same  benefit  to  the  State?  But  if,  with  morality, 
they  also  at^proper  times  inculcated  the  principles  of  religion,  he  asked 
whether  they  should  not  make  the  rising  generation  better  citizens,  more 
upright  in  their  intercourse  with  their  fellow-men,  more  ^mindful  of  the 
sacred  relations  of  the  marriage  state,  and  more  attentive  to  their  social  du- 
ties ?  He  had  been  told  that  the  old  system  was  not  attended  with  inconve- 
nience, but  that  some  agent  or  minister  of  those  funds  had  peculated  or  mis- 
applied them — but  he  was  not  a  Catholic.     (Laughter.) 

But  why  were  the  Catholics  to  suffer  for  the  peculation  of  others  ?  It 
was  a  constitutional  principle  that  every  man  should  enjoy  not  only  his 
own  opinions,  but  that  he  should  discharge  according  to  his  own  sense  of 
it,  Ms  duty  to  God,  of  which  the  education  of  his  child  is  one  of  the  most 
sacred.  He  claimed  nothing  for  the  Catholic  which  was  not  at  the  same 
time  due  to  other  denominations — to  the  Jew  and  the  Gentile.  He  was 
pleased  that  the  gentlemen  who  had  preceded  him  had  advocated  no 
crooked  policy — the  changing  a  name  and  not  a  cause;  and  he  hoped  the 
time  had  gone  by  when  Catholics  would  bend  their  heads  as  though  to 
court  a  burden,  but  that  henceforth  they  would  stand  erect.  It  was  no- 
thing but  simple  justice  which  they  contended  for,  and  if  tliey  should  not 
get  it,  they  must  only  submit  with  the  philosophy  which  gives  dignity  to 
disappointment.     (Great  applause.) 

He  had  arrived  so  recently  that  he  had  not  had  time  to  examine  all  the 
facts  in  the  case ;  but  the  testimony  of  the  clergy  whom  he  had  consulted 
was  (Unanimous  and  decisive  that  the  influence  of  these  schools  is  prejudi- 
cial to  the  faith  of  the  Catholic  children.  Then  the  question  resolved 
itself  into  this — should  they  submit  to  this  if  they  had  the  power  to  cor- 
rect it ;  or  should  they  submit  even  without  an  effort  to  correct  it  ?  That 
was  the  question,  and  it  had  three  issues.  First,  those  who  had  the  dispo- 
sition of  these  funds  should  dispense  them  according  to  that  clear  and 
beautiful  privilege  of  the  Constitution,  which  secures  the  religious  rights 
of  all  and  inflicts  evil  on  none.  Now  if  they  gave  Catholics  a  portion  of 
that  fund  after  taxing  them  for  the  accumulation  of  the  fund,  the  benefit 
to  the  Statewould  be  the  same  and  the  disposition  would  be  consistent  with 
their  constitutional  right,  and  they  should  receive  it  gratefully  from  those 
who  had  the  iDower  to  give  it.  But  if  they  insisted  that  Catholics  should 
pay  their  money,  and  after  seeing  that  they  did  pay,  no  real  benefit  was 
conferre.d  on  them  in  return,  but  injui-y,  he  left  it  to  those  concerned  whe- 
ther they  would  go  on  in  support  of  a  system  of  that  kind.  He  had  an 
illustration  in  point — not  one  furnished  by  Catholics,  but  by  another  de- 
nomination whose  magnanimity  in  contending  for  the  principle  of  right 
did  them  credit — ^he  alluded  to" the  Synod  of  Ulster,  the  Presbyterians  of 
Ireland.  They  saw  a  system  of  religious  instruction  for  the  National 
Schools  in  Ireland  made  up  by  the  Government,  as  a  kind  of  mixture  of 
diluted  Scripture  into  essays  which  would  suit  either  Unitarians,  or  Meth- 
odists, or  Baptists,  or  Episcopalians — a  religious  compound  which  did 
not  mean  any  thing  precisely,  but  from  which  any  one  might  take  what  ho 
pleased.  Now  the  Presbyterians,  according  to  their  religious  belief,  had  a 
fixed  principle  that  the  Bible,  the  whole  Bible,  and  the  Bible  alone,  was 


the  best  book  of  Education,  and  they  protested  against  this  system  which 
did  not  admit  the  Bible;  and  they  stood  up  for  their_  rights,  and  that. 
strong  iron-handed  government,  as  it  is,  granted  their  claim ;  and  he  asked 
if  it  would  not  have  been  doing  violence  to  those  people  to  have  taxed 
them  for  the  support  of  a  system  that  would  have  been  destructive  of  their 
religious  principles.  Here  was  a  case  in  point;  and  in  precisely  the  same 
course  they  were  called  upon  by  the  circumstances  of  the  present  case,  to 
follow.  And  let  him  observe  that  men  may  weigh  but  little,  and  political 
parties  may  weigh  but  little,  and  in  point  of  importance,  even  money  may 
weigh  but  little :  men  may  change,  but  if  they  took  principle  for  their 
guide  and  disencumbered  it  of  all  the  rubbish  of  politics  and  all  such 
things,  they  would  see  it  shine  like  a  ray  of  light.  What  was  the  princi- 
ple in  this  case  to  consider  which  they  were  convened  together  ?  Why  if 
they  were  convinced,  as  he  was,  of  the  evil  of  the  present  system,  they 
could  not  send  their  children  to  these  Common  Schools  with  safety,  as  they 
are  now  constituted.  It  remained,  then,  that  they  ask  those  having 
the  power  to  dispense  a  remedy  to  do  it.  If  Catholics  contributed  to  the 
funds  and  a  proportion  were  returned  to  them  to  be  expended  in  precisely 
the  same  way  as  at  present,  while  Catholics  preserved  their  direct  religious 
rights,  they  would  be  content,  and  no  other  party  would  have  cause  to 
complain.  But,  as  he  had  a  book  used  in  these  Common  Schools  with  him, 
which  had  been  this  day  handed  to  him  by  Dr.  Power,  he  would  read  one 
of  its  amiable  little  chapters  to  show  its  insidious  and  dangerous  tendency 
and  to  illustrate  the  system.     The  chapter  is  as  follows  : 

It  was  Sunday  morning.  All  the  bells  were  ringing  for  church,  and  all  the  streets 
were  filled  with  people,  moving  in  all  directions,  and  here  numbers  of  well-dressed 
persons,  and  a  long  train  of  charity  children  were  thronging  in  at  the  wide  doors  of  a 
handsome  church  ;  there  a  nuaiber  equally  gay  in  dress  were  entering  an  elegant 
meeting-house.  A  Roman  Catholic  congregation  was  turning  into  their  chapel;  every 
one  crossing  himself,  with  a  finger  dipped  in  holy  water,  as  he  went  in. 

The  opposite  side  of  the  street  was  covered  with  Quakers,  distinguished  by  their 
plain  and  neat  attire,  who  walked  without  ceremony  into  a  room  as  plain  as  themselves, 
and  took  their  seats,  the  men  on  one  side,  the  women  on  the  other,  in  silence.  A 
spacious  building  .was  filled  with  an  overflowing  crowd  of  Methodists,  while  a  small 
society  of  Baptists  assembled  in  the  neighborhood. 

Presently  the  services  began.  Some  of  the  churches  resounded  with  the  solemn 
organ,  and  the  murmuring  of  voices  following  the  minister  in  prayer;  in  others  a  single 
voice  was  heard  ;  and  in  the  quiet  assembly  of  the  Quakers  not  a  sound  was  uttered. 

Mr.  Ambrose  led  his  son  Edwin  round  these  assemblies;  he  observed  them  all  with 
great  attention,  but  he  did  not  so  much  as  whisper  lest  he  should  interrupt  any  one. 
When  he  was  alone  with  his  father,  "  Why,"  said  Edwin,  "  do  not  all  people  agree  to 
go  to  the  same  place,  and  to  worship  Ood  in  the  same  way  ?  " 

"And  why  should  they  agree?"  replied  his  father.  "'Do  you  not  see  that  people 
differ  in  a  hundred  other  things?  Do  they  all  dress  alike,  and  eat  and  drink  alike,  and 
keep  the  same  hours,  and  use  the  same  diversion  ?" 

"  In  those  things  they  have  a  right  to  do  as  they  please,"  said  Edwin. 

"  They  have  a  right,  too,"  answered  his  father,  "  to  worship  God  as  they  please.  It 
is  their  own  business,  and  concerns  none  but    themselves." 

And  this,  said  the  Rt.  Rev.  Bishop,  is  one  of  the  lessons  for  cliildren.  Now, 
who  does  not  see  the  malice  of  this,  and  how  it  will  operate  on  the  minds  of 
children  of  quick  perceptions  ?  and  children  are  capable  of  observing,  and  of  im- 
bibing in  their  souls  cither  good  or  bad  instruction,  at  a  very  eflrly  age, 

"  Tliey  have  a  right,  too,"  answered  his  father,  "  to  worship  God  as  they  please     It  is 
Iheir  own  business,  and  concerns  none  but  themselves." 
"  But  has  not  God  ordered  particular  ways  of  worshiping  him  ?" 

Why  the  child  appears  to  have  much  more  sense  than  his  father.  (Laughter.) 

"  But  has  not  God  ordered  particular  ways  of  worshiping  him  ?" 


"  He  has  directed  the  mind  and  spirit  witti  which  he  is  to  be  worshiped,  but  not  the 
manner.     Tluit  is  left  for  every  one  to  choose.    All  these  people  like  their  own  way  lest." 

And  this  to  children,  you  observe. 

"  The  several  congregations  now  began  to  be  dismissed,  and  streets  were  again  over- 
spread with  persons  going  to  their  own  homes.  It  clianced  that  a  poor  man  fell  dciwn 
in  tlie  street  in  a  fit  of  apoplexy,  and  lay  for  dead;  his  wife  and  children  stood  round 
him,  crying  and  lamenting  in  the  bitterest  distress.  The  beholders  immediately  flocked 
round,  and  with  looks  and  expressions  of  compassion  gave  their  help.  A  Chureliman 
raised  the  man  from  the  ground  by  lifting  him  nnder  the  arms,  while  a  Presbyterian 
held  his  head,  and  wiped  his  face  with  his'handkerchief.  A  Roman  Catholic  lady  took 
nut  her  smelling-bottle,  and  applied  it  to  her  nose.  A  Methodist  ran  for  a  doctor.  A 
Quaker  supported  and  comforted  the  woman  ;  and  a  Baptist  took  care  of  the  children." 

Edwin  and  his  fa;her  looked  on.  "  Here,"  said  Mr.  Ambrose,  "  is  a  thing  onwhich  man- 
kind is  made  to  agree."  ' 

So  that  religion  is  a  matter  of  choice,  but  humanity  is  that  in  which  all 
agree.  Why,  he  asked,  if  this  humanity  did  not  exist  before  Jesus  Christ? 
Yes,  the  Pagans  understood  it.  But  the  malice  was  not  so  much  in  approving 
good  actions  as  in  tljrowing  ridicule  on  all  religion;  and  yet  this  is  the  system 
of  instruction  which  our  statesmen  adopt  for  our  youth — a  system  which  will 
give  us  what  Washington  cautioned  us  against,  "  morality  without  religion." 

Let  there  bo  granted  to  the  Catholics  a  fair  and  just  proportion  of  the  funds 
appropriated  for  the  Common  Schools,  provided  the  Catholics  will  do  with  it 
the  same  thing  that  is  done  in  the  Common  Schools,.and  leave  no  reason  to 
complain  that  the  system  is  not  followed.  If  they  will  do  that  they  will  take 
away  the  Catholic's  cause  of  anxiety  for  his  children.  Then,  if  they  will  not 
give  the  Catholics  a  due  proportion  of  the  funds,  let  them  be  released  from  tlie 
taxes  for  the  creation  of  this  fuad.  But  if  they  will  do  neither,  and  the  present 
system  is  insisted  upon,  the  question  is  whether  Catholics,  even  in  this  country, 
are  not  compelled  to  do  that  for  the  Common  Schools,  which  the  Catholics  of 
Ireland  do  for  the  English  church,  contribute  to  that  of  which,  in  their  con- 
sciences, they  cannot  avail  themselves.     (Applause.) 

One  word,  in  conclusion,  of  politics  and  political  men.  For  his  part,  he  had 
reason  to  believe — there  were  good  patriots  no  doubt  of  both  parties,  though 
perhaps  such  men  were  small  ir\  numbers — but  his  opinion  of  the  mass  of  them 
was,  that  they  care  very  little  for  us  or  for  our  rights,  provided  they  can  have 
our  services.  That  was  his  opinion  of  them  generally  speaking ;  and  therefore 
he  belonged  to  neither  party ;  nor  should  he  ever  belong  to  either  party.  ^Great 
applause.)  He  cared  not  much  which  party  succeeded ;  he  thought  that  both 
one  and  the  other  were  like  the  two  sides  of  a  copper;  but  one  thing  he  should 
like  to  see,  whichever  party  might  be  in  power — he  should  like  to  see  justice 
done  to  Catholics,  for  great  respect  for  them  was  professed  when  their  services 
were  required.  He  conceived,  then,  the  principles  to  which  he  had  adverted 
claimed  their  first  regard ;  and  if  it  were,  as  it  struck  him,  then  the  Catholics' 
first  duty  should  be  to  secure  the  rights  of  conscience  for  themselves  and  for 
their  children.  Men  were  changing,  and  be  advised  them,  strenuously  advised 
them  to  look  simply  to  principle.  It  would  be  to  them  a  guide ;  and  whatever 
course  was  taken,  he  should  like  to  see  them  throw  overboari  person  entirely. 
He  should  like  to  see  principle  laid  down  as  the  guide  of  Catholics ;  and  this 
principle  spread  out  to  reasonable  men  of  every  party,  showing  that  they  had 
not  a  fair  participation  in  the  rights  of  conscience,  of  which  this  system  deprived 
them.  Then  they  would  be  able  to  judge  between  friends  and  enemies,  and  he 
could  hot  be  a  true  American  that  would  impose  burdens  to  support  a  system 
which  weakened  their  children's  regard  for  religion,  and  drew  them  from  the 
faith  of  their  fathers.  That  was  precisely  the  view  in  which  the  case  presented 
itself  to  him ;  and  whether  this  question  had  come  up  or  not,  before  liis  re- 
turn, it  had  been  his  intention  most  assuredly  to  draw  the  attention  of  Catho- 
ics  to  it.     But  now  let  them  not  be  ready  to  impute  motives — evil'  motix  es  to 


each  other.  Let  them  always  be  cautious  not  to  ™Pyt<=j5ad  >^?«^«f  *°^f;^|j 
other.  Men  will  differ  in  their  views;  and  he  who  is  ^f |t°.  ^P"^^/.,,;^ 
motive  to  his  neighbor,  is  most  liable  to  be  misrepresented  hmselt  in  turn 
There  was  a  way  of  treLting  all  questions,  and  yet  leaving  "^«^  ^^  characters 
safe-not  to  weigh  men's  intentions,  but  leave  them  to  God.  I'  7^,  "°;,  *°^ 
men,  living  men,  to  judge  of  the  intentions  of  their  fellow-men.  But  let  them 
as  Catholics  and  as  citizens  prove  themselves  worthy  of  that  constitution  under 
which  they  lived,  and  which  they  must  be  prepared  to  support.  Jiut  couia 
they  support  the  system  which  he  had  explained?  He  was  satisfied  they 
could  not,  and  on  this  subject  he  believed  there  was  not  a  difference  of  opinion 
in  the  whole  body  of  the  clergy  in  New  York. 

[The  Right  Rev.  Prelate  resumed  his  seat  amidst  great  applause.] 

Meeting  in  tlie  Basement  of  St.  James'  Clmrch, 
Jnly27,  1840 

Pursuant  to  a  resolution  of  the  meeting  held  in  St.  Patrick's 
School-room,  an  adjourned  meeting  of  the  Catholics  of  New  York 
was  held  in  the  School-room  in  the  basement  of  St.  James'  Church, 
James  street.  Thomas  O'Connor,  Esq.,  was  called  to  the  chair,  and 
the  secretaries  of  previous  meeting  were  re-elected  to  their  respective 
offices.  One  of  the  secret.aries  having  read  the  minutes  of  the  last 
meeting,  the  venerable  chairman  opened  the  business  of  the  evening 
with  a  few  pertinent  remarks,  during  which  the  Right  Reverend 
Bishop  Hughes  entered  the  room,  accompanied  by  a  large  body  of 
clergymen,  and  on  being  recognized  he  was  loudly  cheered.  The 
applause  having  subsided,  the  chairman  proceeded  with  his  re- 
marks, and  made  allusion  to  some  published  statements  respecting 
liis  share  in  the  series  of  meetings  which  they  had  held,  and 
denied  thjit  he  was  ambitious  to  be  more  than  a  subaltern  in  their 
just  and  righteous  cause — a  cause  which  that  great  meeting  proved 
to  be  one  of  deep  and  general  interest  with  the  Catholics  of  the 
city — and  a  cause  which  interested  so  large  a  number,  he  was  satis- 
fierl,  must  ultimately  succeed.  That  it  had  not  succeeded  before, 
he  believed,  was  attributable  to  the  fact  that  the  public  dill  not  un- 
derstand the  question,  nor  would  they  attenrd  to  it  until  Catbolica 

THE   SCHOOL   QUESTION'.  >;  49 

made  themselves  heard.  He  repudiated  any  political  feeling  in 
connection  with  this  subject,  and  counseled  the  Catholics  to  unani- 
mity, for  a  house  divided  against  itself  cannot  stand.  The  Com- 
mon School  Systeih  with  which  they  warred,  he  designated  as  a 
monopoly  of  the  worst  kind,  and  in  illustration  of  its  evils  he  said 
that  now  $111,000  a  year  were  spent  for  the  education  of  less 
than  12,000  children,  whereas,  if  the  claims  of  the  Catholics  were 
conceded,  upwards  of  30,000  children  would  be  educated  for  the 
same  amount.  After  a  few  other  observations  he  resumed  his  seat 
loudly  applauded. 

The  Right  Reverend  Bishop  Hughes  then  came  forward  and  was 
received  with  great  applause.  He  said,  as  the  evening  was  short, 
and  as  the  object  of  the  meeting  was  practical,  he  had  deemed  it 
unnecessary  to  wait  for  a  formal  introduction,  and  especially  as  his 
remarks  had  been  so  ably  anticipated  by  their  respected  and  vener- 
able chairman,  with  whose  sentiments,  which  his  long  experience, 
and  matured  judgment,  and  sound  Catholic  feeling  had  inspired  him 
to  utter,  he  (the  Bishop)  fully  concurred.  He  entirely  concurred 
with  the  sentiment  that  in  this  country,  when  light  is  diffused  on 
any  question  in  which  justice  and  injustice  are  involved,  the  Ameri- 
can people  would  deal  justly,  and  not  oppress  any  portion  of  the 
people  with  injustice.  He  likewise  concurred  with  their  venerable 
chairman  in  \he  opinion  that  up  to  this  time  the  question  which 
then  occupied  their  attention  had  not  been  properly  understood  ;  he 
would  go  so  far  as  to  say  that  the  persons  who  had  declined 
granting  their  reasonable  request,  had  done  so  because  they  had 
not  understood  the  justice  of  their  claims — nay,  further,  when  this 
matter  was  thoroughly  understood,  he  was  satisfied  that  even  the 
gentlemen  connected  with  the  public  schools  would  admit  their 
claim.  He  was  authorized  to  make  this  statement  from  a  knowl- 
edge of  the  genius  and  constitution  of  this  nation.  Here  let  but 
their  grievances  be  made  known,  and  every  honest  man,  and  every 
true  American — every  man  who  understands  the  justice  and  fair 
play  of  the  American  constitution— would  be  ready  to  redress  their 
grievances.     [Applause.] 

Passing  from  the  necessity  for  spreading  abroad  the  true  ground 
of  their  claim,  he  would  come  to  the  design  and  intention  of  the 
Legislature  of  this  State  in  granting  a  bounty  for  the  promotion  of 
education.  And  he  would  contend  that  it  was  a  libel  on  the  char- 
acter of  this  great  State  to  suppose  it  was  e\'er  intended  or  de- 
signed that  the  education  of  the  children  of  the  poor  should  be 
partial  or  injurious  to  some  ;  and  he  felt  authorized,  a,lso,  from  the 
character  and  professions  of  those  statesmen,  to  say  that  their  in- 
tention was  both  good  and  honest,  that  it  was  prompted  in  good 
faith,  and  with  a  desire  that  every  poor  man's  child  should  have 
the  benefit  of  this  bounty,  without  any  encroachment  on  any  civil 
privilege  or  religious  right.  [Applause.]  Yet,  notwithstanding 
that  this  was  the  design,  they  saw  that  intention  had  been  most 
admirably  defeated — that  the  object  was  prevented,  and  that  the 


matter  had  now  assumed  such  a  form  that,  contrary  to  the  inten- 
tions of  the  Legislature,  Catholics  were  virtually  excluded  trom  the 
benefits  of  the  system.  This  they  would  have  an  opportunity  ot 
seeing  before  he  had  done.  No  doubt,  the  intention  was  that  the 
money  should  be  expended  to  make  education  general ;  for  every 
enlightened  and  educated  man  was  convinced  that  education  was 
such  a  blessing  that  he  should  not  be  consulting  the  true  interests 
of  the  country,  unless  he  were  disposed  to  fosfer  the  education  of 
the  young ;  but  did  they  think  it  would  be  worthy  an  enlightened 
American  Legislature  to  conceive  such  a  design,  and  to  plan  it  lor 
the  purpose  of  impairing  the  universal  right  of  conscience  and  its 
liberty  ?     [Applause.] 

The  histoty  of  the  application  of  this  bounty  of  the  State  had  been 
already  alluded  to.  The  first  principle  was  that  this  bounty  of  the 
State  should  be  apportioned  to  the  different  religious  societies,  that 
they  might  educate  the  children  under  their  charge;  but  because  one 
peculated  or  perverted  this  bounty  to  iniquitous  purposes,  not  con- 
templated by  the  Legislature,  the  whole  was  put  under  the  manage- 
ment of  school  directors— he  might  not  be  right  in  the  use  of 
terms,  but  they  Would  know  what  he  meant — and  they  were  to 
visit  the  schools,  and  one  principle  which  they  were  to  carry  out  was 
to  exclude  sectarianism  utterly  and  entirely  ;  and  in  examining  the 
reasons  of  the  Common  Council  for  refusing  to  accede  to  the  claim 
of  Catholics,  they  found  that  this  exclusion  of  sectarianism  was 
thought  the  great  charm  of  the  system,  but  he  should  show  them  that 
it  did  not  exclude  sectarianism,  and  that  its  directors  knew  it  did  not, 
and  that  they  knew  it  operated  injuriously  on  Catholics.  Under  this 
state  of  the  case  they  were  to  set  their  grievances  before  the  commu- 
nity— the  grievance  of  being  obliged  to  contribute  to  the  support 
of  a  system  from  which  they  could  derive  no  benefit,  but  which  was 
perverted  as  an  instrument  to  destroy  their  religion  in  the  minds  of 
the  children  under  the  pretence  of  excluding  sectarianism.  But  now, 
to  convince  them  that  the  exclusion  of  sectarianism  was  impossible — 
did  not  those  directors  each  belong  to  some  sect  ?  Did  not  the  gen- 
tlemen putting  the  books  into  the  hands  of  the  children  belong  to 
some  sect?  He  came  to  this  point  that  they  either  belonged  to  some 
sect  or  acted  on  the  principles  of  deism ;  and,  though  this  system 
had  now  no  name  under  a  religious  head,  it  was  either  deism  or  sec- 
tarianism. If  it  were  said  that  it  was  not  sectarianism,  he  wanted  to 
know  what  was  Christianity ;  for  if  they  excluded  all  sects,  they  ex- 
cluded all  Christianity.  Where  are  the  Christians  ?  Take  away  Ca- 
tholics, and  Baptists,  and  Methodists,  and  Presbyterians  and  some 
others — and  they  were  all  sects — take  away  all  the  sects,  and  they 
had  no  more  Christianity  in  the  land.  N"or  could  they  exclude  secta- 
rianism? And  if  they  did,  what  remained  but  deism?  There  was 
no  alternative.  It  was  as  plain  as  that  two  and  two  are  four.  And 
did  they  suppose  that  this  community  which  belonged  to  one^or  the 
other  sect  would  subscribe  to  a  system  which  in  its  essence  was  anti- 
Christian?     Exclude  sectarianism!    and  in  a  country,  too,  which 


prides  itself  on  its  Christiatiity !  He  should  like  to  know,  then,  what 
sect  would  receive  the  greatest  benefit  from  this  system?  why,  the 
sect  that  excluded  sectarianisni — the  "  Common  School  Sect,"  for  it 
ought  to  have  a  name.  [Laughter.]  Now  let  them  examine  for  a 
moment  the  school-books  used  nnder  this  system,  a  couple  of  which 
had  fallen  into  his  hands,  and  ttiey  had  here  a  reading  lesson  on  the 
"  Character  of  Martin  Luther."  Now,  no  doubt  Martin  Luther  had  a 
character — [laughter] — but  people  draAV  it  very  differently.  Here  it 
was  drawn  by  one  of  his  admirers — Catholics,  thanks  to  the  education 
which  they  gave  him,  may  think  highly  of  his  talents,  but  they  have 
not  much  admiration  of  his  virtues — here  was  a  chapter  on  his  char- 
a,cter  drawn  by  Dr.  Robertson,  a  Presbyterian !  But  would  Catho- 
lics wishing  to  educate  their  children  put  Dr.  Robertson's  character 
of  him  into  their  hands  ?  Here  he  was  made  out  one  of  the  greatest 
men  that  ever  lived.  [Laughter.]  But  let  that  pass.  Next  they 
had  a  chapter  on  the  '■'■Execulinii  of  Cranmer^Archhislio-p  of  Canterbury. " 
And  was  that  by  a  Roman  Catholic  ?  Oh  no ;  they  would  not  trust 
a  lesson  by  a  Roman  Catholic  into  the  school ;  but  they  introduced 
this  chapter  written  by  Hume,  the  historian  whose  veracity  they  all 
could  appreciate.  [Laughter.]  Another  chapter  was  entitled  the 
^'■Character  of  the  Great  Founder  of  Christianity."  What  a  name!  The, 
Great  Founder  of  Christianity !  instead  of  saying  our  Lord  Jesus 
Christ.  And  who  is  this  from  ?  Dr.  Beattie,  a  Scotch  Presbyterian  ! 
But  did  they  want  their  children  to  be  taught  by  him?  The  next 
chapter  was  entitled  "27ie  Spirit  and  Laws  of  Christianity  superior 
to  those  of  any  other  religion."  And  this  was  a  lesson  for  children  ! 
And  who  was  this  from?  Dr.  Beattie  again.  Now  might  they 
not  as  well  seclect  lessons  for  children  from  the  life  of  Sir  Thomas 
Moore,  the  Lord  Chancellor  of  England,  who  gave  his  head  to 
the  block  rather  than  sacrifice  his  religion ;  or  from  those  glorious 
.nnnals  of  patriotism  which  show  how  Catholic  bishops  and  barons 
wrung  from  a  king  that  charter  which  was  now  perverted  against 
them.  [Applause.]  But  Catholics  did  not  want  their  children  to  be 
educated  by  the  conductors  of  this  Common  School  System,  whose 
intentions  might  possibly  be  good,  though  Catholics  believed  them 
to  be  mistaken,  at  least.  The  anxiety  betrayed  to  get  Catholics  to 
these  schools,  was  proof  in, itself  that  there  was  something  in  the  sys- 
tem that  Catholics  could  not  agree  to.  Need  he  go  further  ?  If  it 
were  necessary  he  could  appeal  to  that  Church  and  to  others  for  proofs 
of  the  sacrifices  they  (the  Catholics)  had  made  for  the  preparation 
of  a  place  for  the  education  of  their  children  free  from  the  poisonous 
infection  of  those  Common  Schools.  What  induced  them  to  provide 
some  shelter  like  this,  in  which  they  were  now  assembled  for  the  pro- 
tection of  their  children,  but  that  they  deemed  it  a  blessing  to  give 
good  instruction  to  their  children  instead  of  thajt  poison  which  would 
pervert  their  minds  from  the  faith  which  they  reverenced,  and  which 
they  had  received  from  their  fathers  ? 

But  here  was  another  book  entitled,  "  Lessons  for  Schools,  taken 
from  the  Holy  Scriptures,  in  the  Words  of  the  Text,  without  Note  or 


Comment."  But  when  did  Catholics  allow  the  Scriptures  to  he  given 
to  children  that  they  might  he  learnt,  "Without  Note  or  Comment 
admitting  even  that  these  were  the  true  Scriptures?  and  he  asked  if 
this  was  not  a  direct  interference  with  the  religion  of  Catholics  and 
if  so,  why  should  they  tolerate  it  if  they  had  the  power  to  obtain  re- 
dress, or  even  to  appeal  against  it.  !f  he  had  access  to  the  libraries 
of  these  Common  Schools  he  should  find  them  stuffed  full  of  books 
that  were  obnoxious  to  Cathohcs  and  to  their  feehngs ;  but,  as  these 
books  were  now  being  called  in,  it  was  very  difficult  to  get  tnem, 
though  not  long  since  any  child  might  have  them  gratis,  and  he 
Bhould  therefore  call  their  attention  to  a  quotation  from  a  recent 
publication  on  these  books  by  a  writer  who  was  well  acquamted 
with  the  subject : 

"  In  each  of  the  PubUe  Schools  there  is  estabUshed  a  library  to  which  the  more 
advanced  scholars  have  access— and  what  do  we  find  there?  '  Martin  Luther  and 
'  An  Irish  Heart.'  The  latter  is  addressed  to  the  '  Irish  Protestant  Association  ot 
the  city  of  Boston." 

'Not  to  Boston  alone,  but  to  its  essence  and  spirit — the 

"  'Protestant  Association'  of  the  city  of  Boston,  and  is  a  libefnpon  the  Catholics, 
and  an  insult  to  the  Irish.  From  the  preface  I  extract  the  following :  '  The  emi- 
gration from  Ireland  to  America,  of  annually  increasing  numbers,  extremely  needy, 
and  in  many  cases  drunken  and  depraved,  has  become  a  subject  for  grave  and  fear- 
ful reflection.  Should  this  influx  continue  for  a  few  years  more,  in  the  same  ratio 
of  increase  which  has  existed  for  a  few  years  past ;  should  this  imposing  subject^ 
continue  to  be  thought  unworthy  of  legislative  provision,  and  should  the  materials' 
of  this  oppressive  influx  continue  to  be  the  same,  instead  of  an  asylum  our  country 
might  be  appropriately  styled  the  common  sewer  of  Ireland.'  From  page_  24  I 
copy  the  following  verbatim :  '  As  for  old  Phelim  Maghee,  be  was  of  no  particular 
religion.' " 

Well,  then  he  belonged  to  this  Common  School  System,  said 
the  Bishop.     [Laughter.] 

"  '  "When  Phelim  had  laid  up  a  good  stock  of  sins,  he  now  and  then  went  over  to 
KiBarney,  <?f  a  Sabbath  morning,  and  got  relaaf  by  confissing  them  out  o'  the  way, 
as  he  used  to  express  it,  and  sealed  his  soul  up  with  a  wafer,  and  returned  quite 
invigorated  for  the  perpetration  of  new  offences.' "  ' 

There  is  a  lesson  for  your  children  in  a  school  system  which  pro- 
fesses the  exclusion  of  all  sectarianism ! 

Again,  on  page  120,  when  speaking  of  intemperance,  we  find  the 
following : 

"  '  It  is  more  probably,  however,  a  part  of  the  papal  system.' " 

Father  Mathew,  for  instance. 

"  '  For,  when  drunkenness  shall  have  been  done  away,  and  with  it  that  just,  re- 
lative proportion  of  all  indolence,  ignorance,  crime,  misery,  and  superstition,  of 
•which  it  is  the  putative  jiarent,  then,  truly,  a  much  smaller  portion  of  mankind 
may  bo  expected  to  follow  the  dark  lantern  of  the  Eomish  religion.' " 

And  we  read  this  while  we  see  Father  Mathew  going  abroad,  and 
hundreds  of  Protestants  joining  Father  Mathew.  He  spoke  of  this 
as  one  of  the  books  of  learning  which  were  unfit  to  be  introduced 


int.0  schools  fi'om  which  all  sectarianism  was  professed,  to  be  ex- 
cluded.    But  it  goes  on : 

*" '  That  religion  is  most  likely  to  find  professors  among  the  frivolous  and  the 
■wicked,  which  by  a  species  of  ecclesiastical  legerdemain  can  persuade  the  sinner 
that  he  is  going  to  heaven  when  he  is  going  directly  to  l)ell.  By  a  refined  and 
complicated  system  of  Jesuitry  and  prelatical  juggling ' " — 

That,  I  suppose,  is  a  hint  for  me — 

" '  the  papal  see  has  obtained  its  present  extensive  influence  through  the  world.' " 

Now  he  would  leave  it  to  themselves  whether  that  system,  which 
professed  to  exclude  all  sectarianism,  and  yet  adopted  books  like 
these,  would  stand  the  test  of  examination  before  an  enlightened 
community ;  he  wished  to  know  how  any  gentleman  could  stand  up 
before  the  Common  Council  and  say  that  in  it  there  was  no  secta- 
rianism ;  he  wanted  to  know  how  these  books  could  be  defended , 
and  he  wished  to  know  on  what  ground  any  gentleman  who  re- 
ported on  the  part  of  the  Common  Council  could  have  justified 
the  refusal  of  the  claims  of  Catholics,  with  such  truths  as  these 
before  him. 

But,  passing  from  this  state  of  the  case,  he  would  call  their  atten- 
tion to  the  disadvantages  under  which  Catholics  labored  by  the 
operation  of  this  system.  And  first,  though  not  the  greatest,  yet 
what  in  a  country  like  this  must  be  deemed  unconstitutional,  was 
taxation  for  the  support  of  a  system  by  which  they  were  not  ben- 
efited. It  was  a  great  grievance  to  take  the  money  of  Catholics  for 
that  from  Avhich  no  benefit  was  realized.  But  the  next  objection 
was,  its  inequality.  They  found  a  system  supported  by  the  commu- 
nity in  general  which  gave  instruction  to  the  children  of  their 
neighbor^  who  knew  not  or  cared  not  how  it  operated  on  the  reli- 
gious training  of  his  child ;  while  the  Catholic  who  did  care  for  the 
interests  of  his  child's  religious  principles  could  not,  for  that  reason, 
conscientiously  partake  of  its  advantages.  But  its  inequality  was 
equaled  by  its  injustice:  for  why  were  they  taxed  for  siuch  a  sys- 
tem, when  that  system  is  so  perverted  as  to  make  it  their  duty  to 
relinquish  its  benefits,  rather  than  sacrifice  that  which  was  of  greater 
importance.  The  next  fact  was,  the  operation  of  this  system  on 
their  children  ;  and  he  asked  them  to  judge  for  themselves,  from  the 
specimens  they  have  had,  what  must  be  the  inevitable  effect  on  their 
children.  But  this  was  not  all ;  for  after  submitting  to  taxation  for 
this  system,  they  were  obliged  to  tax  themselves  anew,  as  well  as 
their  means  would  permit,  to  give  their  children  an  education  that 
would  not  compromise  their  religious  faith.  Now,  if  he  had  an  oppor- 
tunity to  address  the  gentlemen  more  intimately  mixed  up  with  the 
Common  School  System,  he  would  desire  them  to  bring  their  better 
feelings  to  contemplate  the  scene  in  this  place  when  the  children  of 
the  poor  came  there,  and  not  only  the  children  but  their  teachers, 
who  were  willing  to  sacrifice  health  and  hfe  that  they  might  impart 
instruction  to  their  minds  ;  he  would  bring  them  here  and  ask  them 
to  look  upon  the  spectacle ;  he  would  ask  them,  also,  if  it  were  just 


that  'they  should  be  deprived  of  the  benefit  of  an  education  which 
the  money  of  their  parents  contributed  to  provide ;  he  would  ask 
them  if  it  were  just  that  these  children  should  come  here  with  ba»e 
feet,  during  inclement  weather— and  why  bare  feet?  because  the 
money  had  been  expended  in  books,  which  should  have  purchased 
them  shoes.  The  Legislature  did  not  intend  that  they  should  be 
thus  excluded  from  the  benefits  of  this  system ;  nor  yet  that  the 
children  of  the  poor  emigrant  should  not  participate  in  it,  for  they 
are  poor,  and  for  the  poor  in  an  especial  manner  was  it  intended, 
that  they  might  become  good  citizens.  They,  then,  were  the  victims 
of  a  system  which  was  so  perverted  that  they  could  not,  without 
sacrificing  their  consciences,  send  their  children  to  participate  in  its 
benefits,  for  which  they  had,  in  common  Avith  other  citizens,  sub- 
scribed the  funds. 

Now,  with  this  outline  of  the  case,  which  he  should  be  glad  to 
see  in  print  and  sent  abroad  to  justify  their  course,  he  came  to  the 
remedy ;  for  he  did  not  suppose  they  would  present  themselves  to 
the  constituted  authorities  and  demand  this  money,  unless  they  could 
show  it  was  right.  They  did  not  ask  a  favor ;  but,  according  to 
sound  judgment,  &  public  right,  to  which  they  were  entitled.  Nor 
was  it  expedient  that  those  in  power  should  grant  that  which  the 
Catholics  demanded,  until  they  had  shown  them  some  good  and 
sound  reason,  and  its  justice  and  propriety  ;  and,  therefore,  he  was 
glad  that  their  grievances  were  laid  before  the  whole  land  and  were 
not  confined  to  that  room.  They  must  seize  the  public  attention, 
and  if  their  just  claim  was  still  denied,  then  let  it  be  branded  on  the 
flag  of  America  that  Catholics  were  denied  and  deprived  of  equal 
rights.  [Applause.]  It  appeared,  from  the  history  of  their  pro- 
ceedings before  his  arrival,  that  difficulties  had  been  thrown  in  their 
way  most  inexpediently,  most  injudiciously,  and  he  might  use  a 
harsher  expression  still  in  respect  to  the  sentiments  put  forth  in 
relation  to  their  agitation  against  the  abominable  system  which  ex- 
cludes all. Christianity,  but  does  no  good.  That  anybody  calling 
himself  a  Catholic  could  have  used  such  language  was  indeed  sur- 
prising;  and  they  could  only  suppose  that  such  an  individual. did 
not  know  his  religion  or  what  this  Common  School  System  was. 
But  let  that  pass.  There  had  been  another  diflSoulty — that  those  to 
whom  the  law  entrusted  the  disposition  of  this  money  were  not  the 
persons  by  whom  it  was  originally  recommended.  It  might  happen, 
in  some  cases,  that  those  not  in  power  should  be  ready  to  recom- 
mend a  measure  with  the  hope  that  they  might  embarrass  others. 
Now,  in  matters  of  this  kind,  reflecting  men  would  not  regret  a 
benefit  because  those  recommended  it  who  were  not  usually  of  their 
own  way  of  thinking.  It  reminded  him  of  a  man  who  should  be 
without  his  breakfast  till  about  eleven  o'clock,  and  is  then  recom- 
mended by  his  enemy  to  take  it ;  but,  says  another,  "  You  know  I 
have  ever  been  your  friend,  while  he  has  been  your  enemy,  and  I 
recommend  you  to  wait."  After  listening  to  both  advisers,  the  man 
says :  "  In  the  first  place,  have  I  the  right  to  my  breakfast  ?    If  so, 


it  is  no  matter  who  recommends  it.  It  is  not  because  this  man  or 
that  man  recommends  it,  but  because  I  have  the  right  to  it,  that  I 
will  take  it.  In  addition,  it  is  near  twelve  o'clock,  and  I  feel  hun- 
gry ;  and  no  doubt,  after  taking  it,  I  shall  feel  better.  Indepen- 
dently, then,  of  your  advice. — and  you  both  wish  me  well — I  have 
reasons  of  my  own  for  eating  my  breakfast,  with  which  I  hope  you 
will  be  satisfied."  And  so  it  was  on  this  Common  School  Question. 
It  was  very  silly  to  bring  such  reasons  here  as  had  been  stated,  and 
he  hoped  they  were  now  excluded. 

He  feared  he  was  taxing  their  patience  and  employing  the  time 
that  would  be  more  usefully  employed  by  others,  and  therefore  he 
would  conclude  with  the  remark,  that  they  must  bear  in  mind  they 
were  not  to  accomplish  this  work  in  a  day.  They  would  have  to 
speak  to  those  by  whom  they  expected  justice  to  be  done  them ; 
they  would  have  to  difiuse  light,  for  there  were  in  the  country 
public  men  of  high  honor  and  good  feeling  of  all  parties — men  who 
really  wished  to  be  just ;  and  if  others  were  mere  trading  politi- 
cians, he  hoped-  they  would  be  mindful  of  that  old  adage,  which 
was  as  true  here  as  elsewhere,  "  Honesty  is  the  best  policy ;"  and 
if  they  wanted_to  be  successful  politicians,  their  course  was  to  be 
honest  politicians.  He  was  aware  that  even  where  politicians  were 
not  honest,  from  Maine  to  Georgia,  their  policy  was  to  appear  so  : 
but  there  were  men  independent  of  this  class  that  were  men  of  gen- 
erous minds  and  pure  motives,  who  sympathized  with  the  people 
and  were  watchful  of  the  interests  of  the  country,  and  who  would 
grant  the  justice  to  which  Catholics  were  entitled,  and  drive  out 
from  this  system  that  sectarianism  which  its  professed  friends  say 
does  not  exist  in  it.  In  order,  then,  to  proceed  in  the  way  which 
cases  of  the  kind  require,  he  would  suggest  the  adoption  of  the  fol- 
lowing preamble  and  resolutions : 

Whereas,  The  wisdom  and  liberality  of  the  Legislature  of  this  State 
did  provide,  at  the  public  expense,  for  the  education  of  the  poor 
children  of  the  State,  without  injury  or  detriment  to  the  civil  and 
religious  rights  vested  in  their  parents  or  guardians  by  the  laws  of 
nature  and  of  the  land  :  And,  whereas,  Catholics  contribute  and  have 
always  contributed  their  proportion  to  the  funds  from  which  that 
system  is  supported  :  And,  whereas,  the  administration  of  that  system, 
as  now  conducted,  is  such  that  the  parents  or  guardians  of  Catholic 
children  cannot  allow  them  to  frequent  such  schools  without  doing 
violence  to  those  rights  of  conscience  which  the  Constitution  secures 
equal  and  inviolable  to  all  citizens,  viz. :  They  cannot  allow  their 
children  to  be  brought  up  under  a  system  which  proposes  to  shut 
the  door  against  Christianity,  under  the  pretext  of  excluding  secta- 
rianism, and  which  yet  has  not  the  merit  of  being  true  to  its  bad 
promise :  And,  whereas,  CathoUcs  who  are  the  least  wealthy  and 
most  in  need  of  the  education  intended  by  the  bounty  of  the  State, 
are  thus  cut  off  from  the  benefit  of  funds  to  which  they  are  obliged 
to  contribute,  and  constrained  either  to  contribute  new  funds  for 
the  purposes  of  education  among  themselves,  or  else  to  see  their 


children  brought  up  under  a  system  of  free-thinking  and  practical 
irreligion,  or  else  see  them  left  to  that  ignorance  which  they  dread, 
and  which  it  was  the  benevolent  and  wise  intention  of  the  Legisla- 
ture to  remove.     Therefore, 

1.  Resolved,  That  the  operation  of  the  Common  Schoolbystem,  as 
the  same  is  now  administered,  is  a  violation  of  our  civil  and  reli- 
gious rights.  '  T  -■•    ■ 

2.  Hr.mhed,  That  we  should  not  be  worthy  of  our  proud  distinc- 
tion as  Americans  and  American  citizens,  if  we  did  not  resist  such 
invasion  by  every  lawful  means  in  our  power. 

3.  Hesohed,  That  in  seeking  the  redress  of  our  grievances,  we 
have  confidence  in  our  rulers,  more  especially  as  by  granting  that 
redress  they  will  but  carry  out  the  principles  of  the  Constitution, 
which  secures  equal  civil  and  religious  rights  to  all. 

4.  Mesolved,  That  a  committee  of  eight  be  appointed  to  prepare 
and  report  an  address  to  the  Catholic  community  and  the  public  at 
large,  on  the  injustice  which  is  done  to  the  Catholics,  in  their  civil 
and  religious  rights  by  the  present  operation  of  the  Common  School 

5.  Resolved,  That  a  committee  of  three  be  appointed  to  prepare 
a  report  on  the  public  moneys  which  h.ave  been  expended  by  the 
bounty  of  this  State  for  education,  both  in  Colleges  and  in  Common 
Schools,  to  which  Catholics  have  contributed  their  proportion  of 
taxes  like  other  citizens,  but  from  which  they  have  never  received 
any  benefit. 

The  resolutions  having  been  unanimously  adopted  collectively, 
the  committees  designated  in  the  resolutions  were  then  appointed 
by  the  chairman,  as  follows :  Rt.  Kev.  Bishop  Hughes,  James  W. 
McKeon,  Thomas  O'Connor,  Dr.  Sweeney,  James  W.  White,  James 
Kelley,  Gregory  Dillon,  B.  O'Connor,  John  SIcLoughlin :  C.  F. 
Grim,  James  "W.  McKeon. 



Speech  of  Right  Rev.  Bishop  Hughes. 

A  GESTEEAL  meeting  of  the  Catholics  of  New  York  was  held  in 
the  basement  of  St.  James'  Church,  James  street,  on  Monday, 
August  10,  1840,  on  the  subject  of  Common  School  Education,  and 
the  claim  of  the  Catholics  to  a  portion  of  the  Common  School  Fund. 
The  meeting  was  very  numerously  attended.  Thomas  O'Connor, 
Esq.,  was  again  called  to  the  chair,  and  the  secretaries  of  the  pre< 
vious  meetings  were  also  re-elected. 


The  Right  Reverend  Bishop  Hughes,  having  entered  tlie  room 
nccompanied  by  a  numerous  body  of  the  clergy,  was  received  with 
enthusiastic  plaudits.  He  then,  as  the  chairman  of  the  committee 
appointed  by  the  last  meeting  to  prepare  an  address  to  the  public 
on  the  subject  ■which  those  UK^etings  were  convened  to  discuss,  came 
forward  and  said,  the  object  they  had  in  view,  in  drafting  and 
adopting  a  report,  was  that  the  public  at  large  might  be  informed 
of  the  nature  of  their  pretensions,  and  of  the  grie\ances  of  which 
they  comjDlained,  in  order  that  if  there  were  in  the  public  a  sympa- 
thetic response  to  their  cry  for  justice,  it  might  come  forth.  For 
himself  he  had  but  little  doubt  of  the  issue,  for  he  had  great  con- 
fidence in  the  public  justice.  And  whatever  m.ight  be  the  conduct 
of  the  editors  of  the  daily  journals,  and  of  others  who  were  but  ob- 
scurely informed,  or  who  but  darkly  understood  the  nature  of  their 
position,  he  still  hoped  that  when  they  comprehended  thoroughly 
the  ground  on  which  Catholics  stood,  they  would  not  persevere  in 
the  course  of  w^hich  their  venerable  chairman  so  justly  complained. 
[Applause.]  With  the  permission  of  the  meeting,  he  would  then 
read  the  draft  of  the  report  which  was  about  to  be  submitted  to 
them.  The  Right  Reverend  Prelate  then  read  the  following  address, 
which  was  received  with  responsive  cheers  throughout : 


Of  the  Soman  Catholics,  to  their  Fellow  Citizens  of  the  City  and  State 

of  New  York. 

Fellow  Citizens  : 

We,  the  Roman  Catholics  of  the  City  of  N'ew  York,  feeling  that 
both  our  civil  and  religious  rights  are  abridged  and  injuriously 
affected  by  the  operation  of  the  Common  School  System,  and  by 
the  construction  which  the  Common  Council  have  lately  put  on  the 
laws  authorizing  that  system,  beg  leave  to  state  our  grievances,  with 
the  deepest  confidence  in  the  justice  of  the  American  character; 
that  if  our  complaints  are  well  founded,  you  will  assist  us  in  obtain- 
ing the  redress  to  which  we  are  entitled — if  they  are  not  well 
founded,  Ave  are  ready  to  abandon  them. 
'  We  are  Americans  and  American  cjtiiens.  If  some  of  us  are 
foreigners,  it  is  only  by  the  accident  of  birth.  As  citizens,  our  am- 
bition is  to  be  Americans — and  if  we  cannot  be  so  by  birth,  we  are 
so  by  choice  and  preference,  which  we  deem  an  equal  evidence  of 
our  affection  and  attachment  to  the  Laws  and  Constitution  of  the 
country.  But  our  children,  for  whose  rights  as  well  as  our  own  we 
contend  in  this  matter,  are  Americans  by  nativity.  So  that  we  are 
either,  like  yourselves,  natives  of  the  soil,  or,  like  your  fathers  from 
the  Eastern  world,  have  become  Americans  under  the  sanction  of 
the  Constitution,  by  the  birthright  of  selection  and  prefei'ence. 
We  hold,  therefore,  the  same  idea  of  our  rights  that  you  hold  of 


yours.  We  wish  not  to  diminish  yours,  but  only  to  secure  and 
enjoy  our  own.  Neither  have  we  the  slightest  suspicion  that  you 
would  wish  us  to  be  deprived  of  any  privilege,  which  you  claim  for 
yourselves.  If  then  we  have  suffered  by  tlie  operation  of  the 
Common  School  System  in  the  City,  of  New  York,  it  is  to  be  im- 
puted rather  to  our  own  supineness,  than  to  any  wish  on  your  part 
that  we  should  be  aggrieved. 

The  intention  of  the  Legislature  of  this  State  in  appropriating 
public  funds  for  the  purposes  of  popular  schools,  must  have  been 
(whatever  construction  the  lawyers  of  the  Common  Council  put  upon 
it)  to  diffuse  the  blessings  of  education  among  the  people,  without 
encroachment  on  the  civil  and  religious  rights  of  the  citizens.  It 
was,  it  must  have  been,  to  have  implanted  in  the  minds  of  youth, 
principles  of  knowledge  and  virtue,  which  would  secure  to  the  State 
a  future  population  of  enlightened  and  virtuous,  int'tead  of  ignorant 
and  vicious  members. 

This  was  certainly  their  general  intention,  and  no  other  would 
have  justified  their  bountiful  appropriation  of  the  public  funds.  But 
in  carrying  out  the  measure,  this  patriotic  and  wise  intention  has 
been  lost  sight  of;  and  in  the  City  of  New  York,  at  least,  under  the 
late  arbitrary  determination  of  the  present  Common  Council,  such 
intention  of  the  legislature  is  not  only  disregarded,  but  the  high 
public  ends  to  which  it  was  directed,  are  manifestly  being  defeated. 
Here  knowledge,  according  to  the  late  decision,  mere  secular  knowl- 
edge, is  what  we  are  to  understand  by  education,  in  the  sense  of  the 
legislature  of  New  York.  And  if  you  should  allow  the  snaallest  ray 
of  religion  to  enter  the  school-room ;  if  you  should  teach  the  chil- 
dren that  there  is  an  eye  that  sees  every  wicked  thought,  that  there 
is  a  God,  a  state  of  rewards  and  punishment  beyond  this  life  ;  then, 
according  to  the  decision  of  the  Common  Council,  you  forfeit  all 
claim  to  the  bounty  of  the  State,  although  your  scholars  should  have 
become  as  learned  as  Newton,  or  wise  as  Socrates.  Is  then,  we 
would  ask  you,  fellow  citizens,  a  practical  rejection  of  the  Christian 
religion  in  all  its  forms,  and  without  the  substitution  of  any  other, 
the  basis  on  which  you  would  form  the  principles  and  character  of 
the  future  citizens  of  this  great  Commonwealth  ?  Are  the  meek 
lessons  of  religion  and  virtue,  which  pass  from  the  mother's  lips  into 
the  heart  of  her  child,  to  be  chilled  and  frozen  by  icy  contact  with 
a  system  of  education  thus  interpreted  ? 

Is  enlightened  villainy  so  precious  in  the  public  eye,  that  science 
is  to  be  cultivated  whilst  virtue  is  neglected,  and  religion,  its  only 
adequate  groundwork,  is  formally  and  authoritatively  proscribed  ? 
Is  it  your  wish  that  vice  should  thus  be  elevated  from  its  low  and 
natural  companionship  with  ignorance,  and  be  married  to  knowledge 
imparted  at  the  pubhc  expense  ? 

We  do  not  say  that  even  the  Common  Council  profess  to  require 
that  the  Christian  religion  should  be  excluded  from  the  Common 
Schools.  They  only  contend  that  the  inculcation  of  each  or  any  of 
its  doctrines  would  be   sectarianism,  and  thus  lest  sectai-ianisia 


should  be  admitted  Christianity  is  substantially  excluded.  Chris- 
tianity in  this  country  is  made  up  of  the  different  creeds  of  tlie  vari- 
ous denominations,  and  siiico  all  these  creeds  are  proscribed,  the 
Christian  rehgion  necessarily  is  banished  from  the  hall  of  public  edu- 

The  objections  ■which  we  have  thus  far  stated,  fellow  citizens, 
ought  to  appear  to  you,  in  our  opinion,  as  strong  to  you  as  they  do 
to  us.  For  though  we  may  differ  in  our  definition  of  the  religion 
of  Christ,  still  we  all  generally  profess  to  believe,  to  revere  it,  as  the 
foundation  of  moral  virtue  and  of  social  happiness.  Now  we  know 
of  no  fixed  principle  of  infidelity,  except  in  the  negation  of  the 
Christian  religion  ?  The  adherents  of  this  principle  may  differ  in 
other  points  of  skejDticism,  but  in  rejecting  Christianity  they  are 
united.  Their  confession  of  faith  is  a  belief  in  the  negative  of  Chris- 
tianity— but  they  reject  it  in  toto — whilst  the  Common  School  rejects 
Jt5  only  in  all  its  several  parts,  under  the  name  of  Sectarianism. 

It  is  manifest,  therefore,  that  the  Public  School  System  of  the 
City  of  IsTeW  York,  is  entirely  favorable  to  the  sectarianism  of  infi- 
delity, and  opposed  only  to  that  of  positive  Christianity.  And  is  it 
your  wish,  fellow  citizens,  is  it  your  wish  more  than  ours,  that  infi- 
\delity  should  have  a  predominancy  and  advantages,  in  the  public 
Ischools,  which  are  denied  to  Christianity  ?  Is  it  your  wish  that  your 
children  should  be  brought  up  under  a  system  of  education  so 
called,  which  shall  detach  theo  from  the  Christian  belief  which  you 
profess,  whatever  it  may  be — and  prepare  them  for  initiation  into 
the  mysteries  of  Fanny  Wrightism,  or  any  other  scheme  of  infidelity 
which  may  come  in  their  way?  Are  you  willing  that  your  chil- 
dren, educated  at  your  expense,  shall  be  educated  on  a  principle 
antagonist  to  the  Christian  religion  ?  that  you  shall  have  the  toil  and 
labor  of  cultivating  the  ground,  and  sowing  the  seed,  in  order  that 
infidelity  may  reap  the  harvest. 

With  us  it  is  matter  of  surprise  that  conscientious  persons  of  all 
Christian  denominations  have  not  been  struck  with  this  bad  feature 
of  the  system  as  understood  by  the  Common  Council.     A  new  sec- 
tarianism antagonist  to  all  Christian  sects  has  been  generated  in,  not 
the  common  schools,  as  the  State  originally  understood  the  term,  but 
in  the  ^j7.(J/!c  schools  of  the  Public  School  Society  ;  this  new  secta- 
rianism is  adopted  by  the  Common  Council  of  the  City,  and  is  sup- 
ported, to  the  exclusion  of  all  others,  at  the  public  expense.     Have 
the   conscientious  Methodists,  Episcopalians,   Baptists,  Luthera'' 
and  others,  no  scruples  of  conscience  at  seeing  their  children 
the  children  of  their  poor  brought  up  undei-  this  new  sectarip 
It  is  not  for  us  to  say,  but  for  ourselves  we  can  speak.    And  at 
not  be  parties  to  such  a  system,  except  by  legal  compulsio. 
against  conscience.  i   ""-- 

Let  us  not  be  mistaken.     We  do  not  deny  to  infidels  for  uuJDelief 
any  rights  to  which  any  other  citizen  is  entitled. 

But  we  hold  that  the  Common  School  System  as  it  has  been  lately 
interpreted  by  the  Common  Council  of  the  City,  necessarily  trans- 


York  convinced  us  that  we  could  not  discharge  our  conscitmtions 
duty  to  oui-  offspring,  if  we  allowed  them  to  be  brought  up  under 
the  influence  of  the  irreligious  principles  on  which  those  scliools  are 
conducted,  and  to  some  of  which  we  have  already  alluded.  But 
besides  these,  there  were  other  grounds  of  distrust  and  danger 
which  soon  forced  on  us  the  conclusion  that  the  benefits  of  pubUc 
education  were  not  for  us.  Besides  the  introduction  of  the  Holy 
Scriptures  without  note  or  comment,  with  the  prevailing  theory  that 
from  these  even  children  are  to  get  their  notions  of  religion,  contrary 
to  our  principles,  there  were  in  the  class  books  of  those  schools  fafte 
(as  we  believe)  historical  statements  respecting  the  men  and  things 
of  past  times  calculated  to  fill  the  minds  of  our  children  with  errors 
of  fact,  and  at  the  same  time  to  excite  in  them  prejudice  against  the 
religion  of  their  parents  and  guardians.  These  passages  were  not 
considered  as  sectarian,  inasmuch  as  they  had  been  selected  as  mere 
reading  lessons,  and  were  not  in,  favor  of  any  particular  sect,  but 
merely  against  the  Catholics.  .We  feel  it  is  unjust  that  such  pas- 
sages should  be  taught  at  all  in  schools,  to  the  support  of  which  we 
I  are  contributors  as  well  as  others.  But  that  such  books  should  be 
put  into  the  hands  of  our  own  children,  and  that  in  part  at  our  own 
expense,  was  in  our  opinion  unjust,  unnatural,  and  at  all  events  to 
us  intolerable.  Accordingly,  through  veiy  great  additional  sacri- 
fices, we  have  been  obliged  to  provide  schools,  under  our  churches 
and  elsewhere,  in  which  to  educate  our  children  as  our  conscientious 
duty  required.'  This  we  have  done  to  the  number  of  some  thousands 
for  several  years  past,  during  all  of  which  time  we  have  been  obliged 
to  pay  taxes ;  and  we  feel  it  unjust  and  oppressive  that  whilst  we 
educate  our  children,  as  well  we  contend  as  they  would  be  at  the 
public  schools,  we  are  denied  our  portion  of  the  school  fund,  simply 
because  we  at  the  same  time  endeavor  to  train  them  up  in  principles 
of  virtue  and  religion.  This  we  feel  to  be  unjust  and  unequal.  For 
we  pay  taxes  in  proportion  to  our  numbers,  as  other  citizens.  We 
arc  supposed  to  be  from  one  hundred  and  fifty  to  two  hundred 
thousand  in  the  State. 

And  although  most  of  us  are  poor,  still  the  poorest  man  amongst 
us  is  obliged  to  pay  taxes,  from  the  sweat  of  his  brow,  in  the  rent 
of  his  room  or  little  tenement.  Is  it  not  then  hard  and  unjust  that 
such  a  man  cannot  have  the  benefit  of  education  for  his  child  with- 
out sacrificing  the  rights  of  his  religion  and  conscience  ?  He  sends 
his  child  to  a  school  under  the  protection  of  his  Church,  in  which 
these  rights  will  be  secure.  But  he  has.  to  support  this  school  also. 
In  Ireland  he  was  compelled  to  support  a  church  hostile  to  his  re- 
ligion, and  here  he  is  compelled  to  support  schools  in  which  his 
religion  fares  but  little  better,  and  to  support  his  own  school  be- 

Is  this  state  of  things,  fellow-citizens,  and  especially  Americans 
is  this  state  of  things  worthy  oi  xjou,  worthy  of  our  country,  worthy 
of  our  just  and  glorious  constitution?  Put  yourself  in  the  poor 
man's  place,  and  say  whether  you  -would  not  despise  him  if  he  did 


not  labor  by  every  lawful  mfeans  to  emancipate  himself  from  lliis 
bondage.  He  has  to  pay  double  taxation  for  the  education  of  his 
'child,_one  to  the  misinterpreted  law  of  the  land,  and  another  to  his 
conscience.  He  sees  his  child  going  to  school  with  perhaps  only  the 
fragment  of  a  worn-out  book,  thinly  clad,  and  its  bare  feet  on  the 
frozen  pavement ;  whereas,  if  he  had  his  rights  he  could  improve 
the  clothing,  he  could  get  better  books,  and  have  his  child  better 
taught  than  it  is  possible  in  actual  circumstances. 

Nothing  can  be  more  false  than  some  statements  of  our  motives, 
which  have  been  put  forth  against  us. 

It  has  been  asserted  that  we  seek  our  share  of  the  school  funds 
for  the  support  and  advance  of  our  religion. 

We  beg  to  assure  you  with  respect  that  we  would  scorn  to  sup- 
port or  advance  our  religion  at  any  other  than  our  own  expense. 
But  we  are  unwilling  to  pay  taxes  for  the  purpose  of  destroying  our 
religion  in  the  minds  of  our  children.  This  points  out  the  sole 
difference  between  what  we  seek  and  what  some  narrow-minded  or 
misinformed  journals  have  accused  us  of  seeking. 

If  the  public  schools  could  have  been  constituted  on  a  principle 
which  would  have  secured  a  perfect  neutrality  of  influence  on  the 
subject  of  religion,  then  we  should  have  no  reason  to  complain.  But 
this  has  not  been  done,  and  we  respectfully  submit  that  it  is  impos- 
sible. The  cold  indifference  with  which  it  is  required  that  all  relig- 
ion shall  be  treated  in  those  schools — the  Scriptures  without  note  or 
comment — the  selection  of  passages,  as  reading  lessons,  from  Prot- 
estants and  prejudiced  authors,  on  points  in  which  our  creed  is  sup- 
posed to  be  involved — the  comments  of  the  teacher,  of  which  the 
Commissioners  cannot  be  cognizant  —  the  school  libraries,  stuffed 
with  sectarian  works  against  us — form  against  our  religion  a  combi- 
nation of  influences  prejudicial  to  our  religion,  and  to  whose  action 
it  would  be  criminal  in  us  to  expose  our  children  at  such  an  age. 

Such,  fellow- citizens,  is  a  statement  of  the  reasons  of  our  opposi- 
tion to  the  public  schools,  and  the  unjust  and  unequal  grievances  of 
which  we  complain. 

You  can  judge  of  our  rights  by  your  own.  You  cannot  be  ex- 
pected to  know  our  religion  ;  many  of  you  have,  no  doubt,  strong 
prejudices  against  it,  which  we  are  fain  to  ascribe  precisely  to  the 
circumstance  of  your  not  having  had  an  opportunity  to  know  it. 

But  notwithstanding  your  prejudices,  and  your  disapproval  of  our 
faith,  we  have  confidence  in  your  high  principles  of  justice,  under 
the  sanction  of  our  common  constitution,  which  secures  equal  re- 
ligious and  civil  rights  to  all.  Put  yourselves  in  our  situation,  and 
say  whether  it  is  just,  or  equal,  or  constitutional,  that  whereas  we 
are  contributors  to  the  public  fund,  we  shall  be  excluded  from  our 
share  of  benefit  in  their  expenditure,  unless  wo  submit  to  the  arbi- 
trary and  irreligious  conditions  of  the  Common  Council,  and  thereby 
violate  our  rights  of  conscience  ? 

Our  religion  is  dear  to  us ;  for  in  the  hearts  of  many  of  us  it  is 
connected  with  the  history  of  our  fathers'  sufferings,  and  our  own. 


Education  is  dear  to  us,  for  the  tyrants  who  wished  to  enslave  our 
ancestors  and  us,  made  it  felony  for  the  schoolmaster  to  come  among 
us,  unless  he  were  the  avowed  enemy  of  our  creed. 

We  seek  for  nothing  but  what  we  conceive  to  be  our  nghts,_and 
which  can  be  granted  without  violating  or  abridging  the  prmciples 
of  any  other  denomination  or  individual  bi-eathing.  They  may  be 
refused  as  they  have  been.  If  they  should,  neithershall  we  yet  suf- 
fer our  children  to  receive  the  anti-religious  education  of  the  public 
schools,  nor  shall  we  kiss  the  hand  that  fixes  a  blot  on  the  Constitu- 
tion by  oppressively  denying  our  just  claims. 

What  do  we  contend  for  ?  Simply  that  our  children  shall  be 
educated  apart  from  these  influences.  We  contend  eoe  liberty 
OF  conscience  and  FEEEDOir  OE  EDUCATION.  We  hold  that  the 
laws  of  nature,  of  religion,  and  the  very  Constitution  of  the  coun- 
try, secure  to  parents  the  right  of  superintending  the  education  of 
their  own  children. 

This  right  we  contend  for,  but  we  have  hitherto  been  obliged  to 
exercise  it  under  the  unjust  disadvantages  of  double  taxation.  If 
the  State,  considering  our  children  as  its  own,  grants -money  for  their 
education,  are  we  not  entitled  to  our  portion  of  it,  when  we  perform 
the  services  which  are  required. 

It  appears  not,  according  to  the  decisions  of  the  Common  Council, 
unless  we  send  our  children  to  schools  in  which  our  religious  rights 
are  to  be  violated,  and  our  offspring  qualified  to  pass  over  to  the 
thickening  ranks  of  infidelity.  This  shall  not  be  ;  much  as  we  dread 
ignorance,  "we  dread  this  much  more. 

If  justice  were  done  us,  we  could  increase  the  number  of  our 
teachers  to  a  proportion  corresponding  with  the  number  of  children. 
We  could  improve  our  means  of  teaching;  we  could  bring  our 
children  out  of  the  damp  basements  of  our  Churches  into  the  pure 
air  of  better  localities.  In  a  word,  give  us  our  just  proportion  of 
the  Common  School  Fund,  and  if  we  do  not  give  as  good  an  educa- 
tion, apart  from  religious  insiruction,  as  is  given  in  the  public  schools, 
to  one  third  a  larger  number  of  children  for  the  same  money,  we  are 
willing  to  renounce  our  just  claim.  Let  the  proper  authorities  ap- 
point any  test  of  improvement  that  shall  be  general,  and  we  shall 
abide  by  it.  Neither  do  we  desire  that  any  children  shall  attend 
our  schools,  except  those  of  our  own  communion ;  although  so  far 
as  we  are  concerned  they  shall  be  open  to  all. 

t\  In  a  country  like  this  it  is  the  interest  of  all  to  protect  the  guar- 
anteed rights  o^  each.  Should  the  professors  of  some  weak  or  un- 
popular religion  be  oppressed  to-day,  the  experiment  may  be  repeated 
En-morrow  on  some  other.  Every  successful  attempt  in  that  way 
-will  embolden  the  spirit  of  encroachment,  and  diminish  the  power 
of  resistance ;  and  in  such  an  event  the  monopolizers  of  education, 
after  having  discharged  the  office  of  public  tutor,  may  find  it  con- 
venient 1o  assume  that  of  public  preacher.  The  transition  will  not 
be  found  difficult  or  unnatural  from  the  idea  of  a  common  school,  to 
that  of  a  common  religion,  froKi  which,  of  course,  in  order  to  make 


it  populai',  all_  Christian  sectarianism  will  be  carefully  excluded. 
Resist  the  begipnings,  is  a  wise  maxim  in  the  preservation  of  rights. 

Should  the  American  people  ever  stand  by  and  tolerate  the  open 
and  authoritative  violation  of  their  Magna  Charta,  then  the  Republic 
will  have  seen  the  end  of  its  days  of  glory. 

The  friends  of  liberty  throughout  the  civilized  world  will  fold  their 
hands  in  grief  and  despair.  The  tyrants  of  the  earth  will  point  to 
the  flag  which  your  fathers  planted,  and  cry,  Ha !  ha  !  The  nations 
from  afar  will  gaze  upon  it,  and  behold  with  astonishment  its  bright 
stars  faded  and  its  stripes  turned  into  scorpions. 

After  reading  the  address,  the  Right  Rev.  Prelate  said,  as  he  had 
had  some  connection  with  the  drawing  up  of  the  address,  it  might 
be  proper  that  he  should  mention  some  of  the  circumstances  au^ 
thorizing  the  language  adopted  in  it.  An  idea  appeared  to  prevail 
that  because  the  schools  to  which  a  desire  was  manifested  to  compel 
them,  as  it  were,  to  send  their  children,  were  called  "  public  schools," 
they  belonged  to  everybody.  Now  they  spoke  of  a  "  public  square  " 
as  of  something  that  was  public ;  and,  in  ordinary  phraseology, 
"  public  schools  "  would  be  schools  belonging  to  the  State ;  but,  if 
they  conceived  that  idea  of  the  public  schools  in  question,  they 
were  mistaken.  What  belonged  to  the  State  belonged  to  the  people 
of  the  State,  and  what  belonged  to  the  city  belonged  to  the  people 
of  the  city ;  but  here  these  schools  belonged  to  a  private  incorpo- 
rated Society,  and  from  the  commencement  they  had  changed  their 
character  as  much  as  it  was  possible  for  them  to  change.  For  what 
purpose  does  the  first  charter  of  this  incorporated  Public  School 
Society  purport  to  have  been  given  ?  They  had  read  the  language 
of  the  report  drawn  up  by  the  Common  Council,  in  which  it  was 
stated  that  anything  sectarian  or  religious  in  the  instruction  given 
in  a  school  was  a  disqualification,  and  cut  off  that  school  from  all 
participation  in  the  Common  School  Fund  ;  but  this  was  not  the  lan- 
guage of  the  charter  by  which  the  Public  School  Society  was  incor- 
porated ;  for  in  that  it  was  recited  that  it  was  given  for  the  educa- 
tion of  children  belonging  to  no  known  denomination,  and  for  im- 
planting in  their  minds  the  principles  oi religion  and  morality.  There 
was  no  dread  of  sectarianism  then.  From  that  time  this  Public 
School  Society,  thus  incorporated,  passed  on,  step  by  step,  enlarging 
their  powers,  and  becoming  favorites  with  the  State  and  City  author- 
ities, until  this  private  incorporation  took  charge  of  the  children — 
not  of  no  known  denomination,  that  they  might  be  taught  religion 
and  morality,  but  of  all  classes,  and  upon  a  principle  that  operated 
to  exclude  religion  altogether.  It  was  not  then  without  authority 
that  the  language  of  the  address  was  so  strong  on  this  matter.  The 
Common  Council  held  the  doctrine  that  the  schools  to  be  common- 
schools,  should  be  open  to  all,  and  that  those  branches  of  education, 
and  those  only,  should  be  taught  which  tend  to  fit  youth  for  the 
ordinary  occupations  of  life.  They  strip  it  of  all  religion,  because 
religion  has  reference  to  a  future  state ;  and  to  make  the  system 


common,  they  profess  to  provide  for  the  education  of  Mohammed- 
ans  and  Jews,  without  violating  religious  belief.  Well,  but  Cath 
olios,  as  has  been  repeatedly  and  abundantly  shown,  could  not  send 
their  children  to  those  schools  without  violating  their  religious  be- 
lief, and  he  thought  they  ought  to  have  the  privilege  that  was  so 
bountifully  provided  for  the  Mohammedan.  [Applause.]  _  But  not- 
withstanding the  professions  made,  this  system,  sofuU  is  it  of  incon- 
sistency as  well  as  mischief,  did  not  exclude  religious  teaching,  for 
the  Scriptures  were  read,  and  that  was  one  form  of  religion,  and 
many  people  thought  it  suflScient  for  all  purposes.  But  all  the 
teaching  the  State  had  in  view,  according  to  the  construction  of  the 
Common  Council,  was  confined  to  what  would  make  man  useful  in 
this  life  ;  that  is,  make  him  an  intellectual  and  mechanical  machine. 
Now  he  did  not  understand  that  a  man  would  not  be  equally  well 
qualified  to  become  a  good  mechanic,  if  he  understood  the  Christian 
religion,  or  that  to  blend  religion  with  his  secular  knowledge  would 
disqualify  him  for  usefulness  in  this  life.  [Applause.]  Oh!  but 
only  get  him  to  read  Mr.  Hume's  chapter,  entitled  the  "  Execution  of 
Cranmer,"  Dr.  Robertson's  "  Character  of  Martin  Luther,^''  the  little 
innocent  story  of  "  Phelim  Maghee,"  and  the  "  Irish  Heart,"  and 
then  he  would  make  an  excellent  mechanic.  [Laughter.]  He  had 
made  these  few  observations  merely  to  show  that  these  schools  did 
not  belong  to  the  public,  in  the  common  sense  of  the  term,  but  to 
a  private  corporation  which  had  received  a  vast  deal  of  the  public 
money,  and  still  continued  to  receive  it,  while  they  who  contributed 
that  money  were  deprived  of  the  benefits  which  the  State  intended 
it  should  confer,  and -they,  in  consequence,  were  obliged  again  to 
contribute  to  the  education  of  their  children  in  another  form. 
[Great  applause.  [ 

The  Right  Rev.  Bishop  Hughes  counseled  them,  while  they 
joined  to  obtain  their  just  demands  in  reference  to  this  Common 
School  System,  to  be  good  citizens  in  all  the  relations  of  life,  and  to 
be  kind  and  charitable  in  the  world,  and  thereby  throw  suspicion 
on  the  minds  of  even  their  enemies  of  the  truth  of  the  ridiculous  and 
absurd  tales  told  of  them  in  the  books  which  were  now  read  in  the 
Public  Schools;  but  in  the  mean  time  let  them  withdraw  their 
children  from  their  bad  influence.     [Great  applause.] 

Meeting  in  the  Basement  of  St.  James'  Church,  August 

24,  1840. 

Pursuant  to  adjournment,  another  crowded  meeting  of  Catholics 
was  held  m  the  basement  of  St.  James'  Church,  James  street,  on 
the  evemng  of  Monday,  August  24,  on  the  subject  of  their  claim  to 
a  portion  of  the  Common  School  Fund  for  the  education  of  their 
children,    Mr.  Gregory  Dillon  was  called  to  the  chair  and  the 


secretaries  of  previous  meetings  -were  re-elected.  The  minutes  of 
the  last  meeting  having  been  read  and  approved, 

The  Right  Rev.  Bishop  Hughes  came  forward  to  address  the 
meeting,  and  was  most  enthusiastically  received.  He  commenced 
by  observing  that  it  might  not  be  unadvisable  to  remind  the  meet- 
ing, which  consisted  of  persons  deeply  interested  in  the  question 
before  them,  of  the  true  principles  which  the  question  involved,  of 
the  extent  to  which  their  claim  reached,  and  of  the  limit  by  which  it 
was  and  ought  to  be  bounded,  for  they  appeared  to  be  peculiarly 
imfortunate  in  making  themselves  understood  when  they  come  be- 
fore the  public  to  vindicate  even  one  of  the  simplest  rights  belong- 
ing to  the  citizens  of  this  country  ;  they  were  peculiarly  unfortunate 
in  having  their  motives  misrepresented  and  their  intentions  not 
charitably  construed.  This,  however,  was  greatly  less  the  case  at 
the  present  time  than  heretofore  ;  nevertheless,  even  now  there  had 
been  published  in  newspapers  of  this  city,  statements  of  circum- 
stances in  regard  to  their  proceedings  which  had  never  occurred,  to 
his  knowledge,  and  to  which  the  meeting  would  also  find  themselves 
strangers.  [Applausef.]  Certainly,  they  were  not  of  much  import- 
ance ;  but  as  there  was  much  credulity  abroad,  and  as  everything 
which  went  forth  to  their  disparagement  from  their  opponents  could 
not  be  contradicted  in  writing,  for  which  few  of  them  could  find  the 
time,  it  became  necessary,  on  an  occasion  like  the  present,  to  avail 
themselves  of  the  opportunity  to  give  utterance  to  their  disavowal. 

In  the  Journal  of  Commerce  of  that  morning  there  was  a  writer 
■who  acknowledged  himself  to  be  a  teacher  in  a  public  school,  and 
that  gentleman  appeared  to  be  highly  offended  with  them  for  lan- 
guage and  proceedings  which  he  attributed  to  them  in  the  progress 
of  that  work.  Now  many  of  those  then  present  had  heard  him  (the 
Right  Rev.  Prelate)  and  others  speak  there  from  the  first  hour  to 
the  present,  and  they  had  not  heard  one  uncharitable,  one  unkind, 
one  disrespectful  word  respecting  the  character  or  the  moti^■es  of 
any  person  connected  with  the  Common  School  System.  They  had 
made  and  did  make  a  broad  distinction  between  the  system  of 
Common  School  education,  in  connection  with  its  necessary  results, 
and  the  private  characters  of  the  parties  who  administered  it,  and 
the  standing  of  those  who  were  its  special  protectors.  This  gentle- 
man said  that  they  (the  Catholics)  say  in  amount  that  the  persons 
connected  jyith  the  Common  School  System  are  all  infidels.  But 
who  over  said  such  a  thing  ?  Did  they  ever  say  that  infidelity  was 
taught  in  those  schools  ?  Never ;  but  they  did  say  that  the  con- 
ductors of  the  Comii^on  Schools  profess  to  exclude  everything  secta- 
rian, and  that  this  they  could  not  do  if  they  would ;  and  should  not, 
if  they  could ;  for  if  they  did,  there  would  be  the  absence  of  every- 
thing like  Christianity,  and  there  would  consequently  be  nothing 
remaining  but  what  they  (the  Catholics)  call  infideUty.  Those 
schools  would  teach  children  the  mathematics,  but  not  a  word  about 
God;  and  what  would  that  be  but  practical  infidelity?    What 


would  be  ttuir  creed  but  that  wMch  inows  not  God?  Now  this 
they  believed  would  be  the  result  of  the  system,  though  not  the 
intention  of  its  managers.  They  (the  Catholics)  would  respect  their 
intentions,  though  they  knew  them  not ;  and  they  therefore  could 
only  meet  them  on  the  ground  which  they  had  themselves  chosen  to 
occupy,  judge  of  them  by  their  own  professions  and  by  the  docu- 
ments which  they  had  given  to  the  world,  and  on  a  comparison  with 
the  results  which  were  unavoidable  ;  then  say  whether  the  Public 
School  System,  if  it  could  have  any  influence,  was  not  hostile  to 
Christianity,  and,  consequently,  infidel.  [Applause.]  He  did  not 
pretend  to  say  that  this  was  intended,  but  that  it  would  be  the  re- 
sult. He  did  not  say  that  the  boys,  because  they  attended  those 
schools,  would  necessarily  become  infidels ;  but  if  not,  no  thanks  to 
that  school  system,  but  to  the  teaching  of  the  parents  at  home ;  to 
the  knowledge,  and  piety  and  anxious  solicitude  of  parents,  and  to 
their  pastors  too  [applause]— for  which  the  system  was  entitled  to 
no  credit.     [Renewed  applause.] 

But  there  were  other  remarks  made  by  the  Churchman.  Now 
that  was  the  paper  of  a  very  respectable  denomination — the  Epis- 
copal— and  it  did  not  quarrel  with  the  arguments  ;  it  did  not  dis- 
pute the  grounds  on  which  their  claim  was  based,  but,  half  sidling 
for  and  half  sidling  against  them,  it  concluded  by  observing  that 
it  was  not  so  much  surprised  at  the  nature  of  the  claim  itself  as  at 
the  boldness  with  which  it  was  put  forward.  [Laughter.]  He  should 
like  to  know  if,  in  this  country,  this  Churchman  would  like  to  see, 
or  expected,  that  they  would  creep  when  they  came  to  demand  a 
right ;  or  whether  in  a  country  and  under  a  Constitution  which 
treated  all  men  as  equal,  and  respected  all  men  alike,  they  should 
not  stand  straight  vp  and  say  what  they  wanted — ^their  claim  being 
couched  in  respectful  language,  which  should  not  entitle  it  to  the 
charge  of  "  boldness."  [Applause.]  But  there  had  been  nothing  in 
their  proceedings  to  justify  the  charge  of  boldness ;  there  had  been 
no  presumption ;  and  this  the  Churchman  ought  to  know.  In  the 
United  States,  Catholics  are  not  obliged  to  recognize  "  Canterbury 
high.  Sir."     [Great  applause.] 

Having  made  these  remarks,  he  would  call  the  attention  of  the 
meeting  to  another  subject.  When  the  application  was  made  to 
the  Common  Council,  it  appeared  by  the  case,  as  submitted  to  the 
public,  that  the  Common  Council  sat  as  jurors,  that  the  Catholics 
appeared  as  opposed  to  the  Common  School  Society,  and  stated  that 
they  could  not  in  their  consciences  send  their  children  to  these 
schools,  and  that  advocates,  as  representatives  of  the  Public  School 
Society,  appeared  to  oppose  them,  and  determined  that  Catholics 
could  in  their  consciences  send  their  children  to  them.  Now  he  (the 
Bishop)  understood  that,  in  this  country,  one  man  had  not  the  right 
to  say  what,  in  conscience,  anbther  man  could  do  ;  and  if  he  did  so, 
that  it  was  an  assumption  of  a  prerogative  that  was  not  his.  Those 
advocates,  too,  set  forth  a  statement  iu  contradiction  of  those  made 
by  the  Catholics,  and  of  some  which  they  had  not  advanced,  in 


wliieh  they  asserted  that  there  was  nothing  in  their  books  which 
Catliolios  might  not  permit  their  children  to  read,  that  there  was 
nothing  in  them  hostile  to  the  Catholic  religion,  nor  anything  that 
could  prejudice  against  it  the  minds  of  Catholic  children.  Yet  had 
they  not  heard  chapter  after  chapter,  and  page  after  page,  which 
they  would  not  allow  their  children  to  read  ?  Had  they  not  heard 
the  chapter  by  Mr.  Hume,  on  the  Execution  of  Cranmer ;  and  the 
Character  of  Martin  Litther,  by  Dr.  Robertson  ;  and  other  chapters 
from  Presbyterian  clergymen ;  and  on  subjects  too  which  deeply 
involved  their  religious  faith,  and  which  they  could  not  conscien- 
tiously and  religiously  allow  their  children  to  read  ?  [Applause.] , 
Now,  with  their  permission,  he  would  draw  their  attention  to  some 
passages  in  the  report  of  the  committee  of  the  Common  Council ;  he 
would  merely  allude  to  .some  few  principal  points,  for  it  was  too 
long  to  be  read  at  length.  They  set  forth  that  Catholics  made  such 
and  such  objections  to  the  existing  system,  and  that  they  were  con- 
tradicted by  the  Superintendents  of  the  Public  Schools ;  and  then 
they  came  to  what  they  regarded  as  the  vital  part  of  the  question. 
They  say  as  follows:  "The  questions  to  which  the  committee  have 
directed  their  attention  are  as  follows :  First,  Have  the  Common 
Council  of  this  oity,  under  the  existing  laws  relative  to  common 
schools  in  the  city  of  New  York,  a  legal  right  to  appropriate  any 
portion  of  the  school  fund  to  religious  corporations  ?"  Now,  with 
great  deference,  he  did  not  conceive  that  that  was  the  case  at  all. 
He  should  like  to  know  from  the  venerable  chairman  of  their  pre- 
vious meetings,  whether  he  and  those  who  accompanied  him  went 
to  the  Common  Council  to  ask  for  money  for  a  religious  corpora- 
tion ?  That  was  not  the  question,  he  (the  Bishop)  contended  posi- 
tively ;  but  this  and  this  only  was  the  question  which  that  com 
mittee  should  have  asked  themselves :  whether  the  Common  Council, 
under  a  law  of  the  State,  should  impose  a  tax  on  the  people,  and 
not  allow  them  the  equivalent  intended  by  law  for  which  it  was 
imposed,  in  return.  That  was  the  true  question  [applause]  ;  and 
he  declared  to  the  nieeting  that  if  any  person  had  asked  for  money, 
in  the  name  of  Catholics,  for  "  a  religious  coi'poration,"  he  would 
have  been  the  first  to  refuse  it.  They  wanted  no  money  for  reli- 
gious corporations.  Their  religion  they  wished  to  support,  and 
they  wished  all  other  men  to  have  the  same  privilege,  by  their  own 
free  choice^  and  in  no  other  way.     [Applause.] 

The  next  question  which  the  committee  ask — and  it  is  as  a  corol- 
lary of  the  other — is,  "Would  the  exercise  of  such  power  be  in 
accordance  with  the  spirit  of  the  Constitution  and  the  nature  of  our 
government  ?"  Now,  what  child  would  not  be  able  to  make  an 
argument  on  that  ?  Why  that  was  an  incorrect  issue,  and  was  not 
the  question  at  all.  The  real  question  was  this  :  "  Have,  any  por- 
tion of  the  citizens  of  this  State  been  subject  to  a  law  which  compels 
them  to  pay  a  tax,  and  have  the  benefits,  for  which  it  was  intended, 
been  so  returned  to  them  that  their  religious  consciences  would  be 
violated  in  their  acceptance  ?"     [Applause.]     That  is  the  question. 


The  committee  could  have  no  difficulty  in  proving  that  "  religious 
corporations  "  "were  not  the  proper  recipients.  True,  the  trustees 
of  the  Catholic  churches  might  be  considered  as  the  citizens  of  that 
communion,  but  he  disclaimed  the  application  to  the  _  Common 
Council  on  other  grounds  than  as  American  citizens  claiming  the 
rights  of  conscience  and  the  liberty  to  educate  their  own  children. 
Religion  was  entirely  a  private  matter.  If  the  conductors  of  the 
public  schools  would  see  that  our  children  were  educated  vmder  the 
Public  School  System  and  discipline— whether  Lancasterian  or  other- 
wise— they  (the  Catholics)  cared  nothing  about  it ;  but  they  wanted 
their  children,  without  injury  to  conscience,  to  have  their  share  of 
ihe  benefits  from  taxes  which  they  had  contributed.  Now,  of  all 
things  calculated  to  spoil  the  merits  of  a  question,  an  incorrect 
Btatement  of  it  had  the  most  power  to  do  so.  If  the  state  of  the 
question  as  to  its  real  issue  were  erroneous,  they  could  not  arrive  at 
just  conclusions ;  and  if  the  issue  were  false,  all  arguments  in  its 
support  would  fall  to  the  ground.  But  these  gentlemen,  in  their 
report  to  the  Common  Council,  with  wonderful  energy,  had  almost 
proved  that  it  would  be  a  union  of  Church  and  State;  and  so  it 
would,  if  what  they  stated  were  correct.  While  the  advocates  of 
the  Public  School  Society  were  asserting  that  there  was  nothing  in 
the  books  to  which  Catholics  could  object,  he  would  appeal  to  the 
meeting  whether  they  had  not  seen  page  after  page  which  showed 
clearly  the  evils  that  would  result  from  such  a  system.  [Applause.] 
But  the  gentlemen  go  on  to  show  in  that  committee's  report  the 
history  and  the  progress  of  the  question,  and  what  the  law  was. 
He  (the  Bishop)  should  not  go  through  the  whole  facts  with  them, 
nor  into  the  inquiry  whether  a  certain  Baptist  church  was  guilty 
of  peculation  ;  he  should  confine  himself  to  the  evils  of  this  system, 
and  to  the  inquiry  whether  Catholics  got  their  rights,  and  by  and 
by  he  Vv-ould  show  them  some  further  extracts  from  the  books,  and 
show  that  the  managers  of  the  Public  Schools  could  not,  or  at  least 
should  not,  but  know  that  the  books  contained  passages  reflecting 
on  the  Catholic  religion,  and  consequently  that  they  were  unfit  to 
put  into  the  hands  of  their  children.  After  setting  forth  the  evils 
of  sectarianism,  they  proceed  in  their  report  to  say :  "  To  prevent, 
in  our  day  and  country,  the  recurrence  of  scenes  so  abhorrent  to 
every  principle  of  justice,  humanity,  and  right,  the  Constitution  of 
the  United  States  and  of  the  several  States  have  declared,  in  some 
form  or  other,  that  there  should  be  no  establishment  of  religion  by 
law."  Precisely  what  we  wish.  "That  the  affairs  of  the  State 
should  be  kept  entirely  distinct  from,  and  unconnected  with,  those 
of  the  church;  that  every  human  being  should  worship  God  ac- 
cording to  the  dictates  of  his  own  conscience ;"  and  yet  they  will  - 
not  allow  us  to  do  so ;  "  that  all  churches  and  religions  should  be 
supported  by  voluntary  contribution ;  and  that  no  tax  should  ever 
be  imposed  for  the  benefit  of  any  denomination  of  religion,  for  any 
cause  or  under  any  pretence  whatever."  Just  as  if  you  wanted  the 
Common  Council  to  pay  your  church  dues  or  pew  rent.  [Laughter.] 


Now  Catholics  did  not  want  this  money  for  their  own  benefit,  but 
for  the  benefit  of  those  to  whom  the  law  appropriated  it,  and  with- 
out violating  the  rights  of  conscience,  which  they  "were  told  the 
Constitution  secured  to  them.  They  then  passed  on  to  the  observ- 
ation, that  "  An  appropriation  of  any  portion  of  that  sura  to  the 
support  of  schools,  in  which  the  religious  tenets  of  any  sect  are  taught 
to  any  extent,  would  be  a  legal  establishment  of  one  denomination 
of  religion  over  another."  Now  let  them  not  be  misunderstood. 
Catholics  did  not  wish  to  teach  religion  in  those  schools  ;  but  when 
they  taught  their  children  to  read,  instead'  of  giving  them,  as  a 
reading  I'esson,  Hume's  chapter  on  the  "  JExecuiion  of  Cranmer" 
they  thought  they  could  give  them  a  better  chapter  out  of  Lingard, 
respecting  the  struggle  of  the  English  barons  and  bishops  on  the 
one  hand,  and  the  English  king  on  the  other,  when  the  great  char- 
ter of  liberty  was  secured.  That  would  be  a  better  lesson,  too,  than 
Dr.  Robertson's  Life  of  Luther.  Arid  here,  again,  they  were  told, 
after  the  observation  about  the  "  legal  establishment  of  one  denomi- 
nation of  religion  over  the  other,"  that  this  "  would  conflict  with  all 
the  principles  and  purposes  of  our  free  institutions,  and  would  vio- 
late the  very  letter  of  that  part  of  our  Constitution  which  so  emphat- 
ically declares  that  '  the  free  exercise  and  enjoyment  of  religious 
profession  and  worship,  without  discrimination  or  preference,  shall  for 
ever  be  allowed,  in  this  State,  to  all  mankind.'  "  Why,  here  again 
the  committee  were  laboring  with  a  phantom  of  their  own  inven- 
tion, unless  the  gentlemen  who  waited  upon  the  Council  asked  for 
money  to  help  the  Church. 

Mr'.  O'CoNNOE.     No,  sir,  I  believe  not. 

The  Bishop.  Then  it  was  the  working  of  their  own  imagination, 
and  with  all  respect  for  these  gentlemen,  for  they  quote  the  law 
fairly ;  but  when  they  supposed  the  law,  as  quoted,  applied  to  them 
(the  Catholics),  they  reversed  the  position  of  the  Catholics.  Finally, 
"  In  this  opinion  your  committee  hope  the  Board,  the  petitioners, 
and  the  public  will  concur ;"  that  is,  when  they  say  it  ought  not  to 
be  given.  "  The  question  is  one  of  that  character  which  appeals  to 
the  liveliest  feelings  of  our  nature,  and  one  which  is  too  apt  to  create 
excitement  and  jealousy."  Not  if  it  was  properly  understood  and 
fairly  discussed ;  for  he  believed  the  public  mind  in  this  country, 
at  least,  the  high  and  generous  portion  of  it,  would  not  allow  any 
man's  civil  or  religious  rights  to  be  encroached  upon  without  any 
pretext  whatever.  "  They  conclude  by  expressing  the  hope  that 
the  petitioners,  tipon  a  full  examination  of  the  question,  will  pei-ceive 
that  the  granting  of  their  petition  would  be  at  least  of  doubtful 
legality,  foreign  to  the  design  of  the  School  Fund,  and  at  variance 
with  the  spirit  of  our  public  institutions."  Then  it  followed  that 
the  support  of  a  public  institution  required  that  their  consciences 
and  their  freedom  should  be  violated.  .  And  who  would  contend  for 

In  the  commencement  he  had  stated  that  it  appeared  the  repre- 
sentatives of  the  public  schools  had  contradicted  the  statement  of 


Catholics,  that  their  boots  contained  lessons  that  reflected  on  Catho- 
lics. Now  they  had  read  several  passages  at  pre\'ious  meetings,  of 
which  they  were  all  able  to  judge  ;  but  he  would  take  one  or  two 
other  bri(ff  passages,  and  he  should  like  to  see  whether  those  gentle- 
men would  again  stand  before  the  Common  Council  and  say  that 
the  books  contained  nothing  against  Catholics.  In  "  Putnam's  Se- 
quel," page  296  of  the  Appendix,  they  had  a  note  on  Luther,  which 
said,  "  Luther,  the  great  reformer,  was,  at  first,  a  Benedictine  monk." 
Now,  he  was  not,  for -he  was  an  Augustinian.  [Laughter.]  "He 
Hved  to  ward  the  close  of  the  fifteenth  and  beginning  of  the  sixteen1,h 
centuries.  The  cause  of  learning,  of  religion,  and  of  civil  liberty,  is 
indebted  to  him  more  than  to  any  other  man  since  the  apostles." 
Well  that  was  a  matter  of  opinion ;  but  at  all  events  there  should  be 
excepted  Erasmus,  who  was  a  scholar,  though  a  priest  like  himself. 
He  was  first  led  away,  though  he  never  doubted  the  Catholic  faith, 
by  popular  abuses,  which  he  thought  could  be  removed  ;  but  he  was 
devoted  to  literature,  and  he  deplored  the  Reformation  precisely  on 
the  ground  that  it  would  throw  back  the  progress  of  literature  a 
hundred  j'ears.  Here  letters  were  reviving,  men  were  devoting 
themselves  to  the  study  of  antiquity,  and  here,  he  complained,  there 
was  nothing  but  broils  and  polemical  disputations,  and  literature 
was  neglected.  Whether  Luther  was  such  a  friend  to  literature,  he 
(the  Bishop)  knew  not.  But  here  was  another  passage,  on  "  John 
Huss,"  of  whom  it  said,  "  John  Huss,  a  zealous  reformer  from 
Popery,  who  lived  in  Bohemia  towards  the  close  of  the  fourteenth, 
and  the  beginning  of  the  fifteenth  centuries.  He  was  bold  and  per- 
severing ;  but,  at  length,  trusting  himself  to  the  deceitful  Catholics, 
he  was  by  them  brought  to  trial,  condemned  as  a  heretic,  and  burnt 
at  the  stake."  Now  these  are  lessons  for  the  instruction  of  your 
children,  and  yet  gentlemen  go  to  the  Common  Council  and  tell 
them  these  books  contain  nothing  against  Catholics.  Now,  besides 
the  injury  done  to  their  children,  let  him  observe  that  he  did  not 
conceive,  even  if  Catholic  children  were  separated  from  those  schools, 
while  they  were  supported  at  the  public  expense,  that  passages  like 
these,  which  were  calculated  to  fix  a  settled  prejudice  in  the  mind 
of  one  class  of  fellow-citizens  against  another,  were  in  accordance 
with  the  spirit  of  their  constitution,  or  those  high  and  holy  principles 
which  religion  taught  them  ;  nor  could  they  be  of  advantage  in  an 
enlightened  system  of  public  education.  Give  to  Catholics  their 
proportion  of  this  fund,  and  they  might  search  their  books  from  one' 
end  to  the  other,  and  however  much  they  might  insist  on  the  truth 
of  their  own  religion,  there  would  not  be  found  a  single  passage 
calculated  to  implant  in  the  minds  of  their  children  a  single  con- 
temptuous thought  of  any  man  or  body  of  men  in  the  United'States. 
But  he  was  surprised  that  the  Public  School  Society,  because  they 
taught  no  doctrine  from  any  specific  text,  while  they  introduced 
page  after  page  such  as  he  had  read,  should  appear  before  the  public 
authoi-ities  and  claim  the  money  which  Catholics  conceived  to  bo 
due  to  them,  and  deprive  them  of  their  rights  secured  to  them  by 


law,  on  the  ground  that  there  was  nothing  sectarian  in  their  books. 
And  he  was  equally  surprised  that  the  gentlemen  should  feel  hurt 
at  that  which  they  ascribed  to  the  system,  and  not  to  the  men  con- 
nected with  it,  though  they  had  said  that  Catholics  could  send  their 
children  to  these  schools  without  any  riolation  of  conscience — that 
there  was  nothing'  that  could  possibly  give  oifence — and  he  would 
ask  them  how  this  could  be  reconciled  with  the  specimens  he  had 
quoted.  But  there  was  another  ground.  He  was  surprised  that 
that  Society  should  think  it  was  their  interest  to  compel  all  children 
learning  to  read,  to  learn  undev  their  exclusive  patronage.  He 
thought  the  intention  of  the  State  was  that  every  child  in  the  Com- 
monwealth should  be  educated,  and  not  that  his  religious  rights 
and  his  conscience  or  those  of  his  parents  should  be  violated.  He 
would  concede  to  the  Public  School  System,  with  all  due  respect, 
and  nothing  more,  that  which  it  was  entitled  to;  but  that  Society 
thought  it  was  exclusively  entitled  to  not  only  what  was  appropri- 
ated to  it,  but  also  to  hinder  Catholics  from  obtaining  their  rights, 
which  was  sacred  and  indisputable.  And  why  was  it  he  felt  so  sur- 
prised ?  It  was  this ;  this  Public  School  Society  was  not  at  any 
time  from  its  orign  the  representative  of  the  State,  but  merely  a 
private  corporation ;  its  trustees  were  not  elected  by  the  voice  of 
the  people ;  but  they  were  a  society  composed  of  members  who 
were  qualified  by  contribution,  or  otherwise  became  members  by 
election  within  their  own  body.  [Hear,  hear.]  Before  they  ex- 
isted as  a  society,  provision  was  made  for  the  education  of  the  chil- 
dren, and  there  was  no  turmoil,  there  was  no  civil  war ;  there  were 
none  of  the  terrible  consequences  and  evils  which  appeared  now  to 
be  anticipated  if  the  claim  of  the  Catholics  should  be  conceded. 
Then  education  was  amply  pro^  ided  ;  each  school  had  its  own  chil- 
dren ;  each  party  took  care  of  its  own  rights,  which  they  thought 
sacred,  and  evei-ything  went  on  in  perfect  harmony  and  for  the  good 
of  the  whole.  And  wh«n  this  Public  School  Society  was  formed,, 
it  was  formed  with  a  laudable  pui-pose,  with  a  name  at  its  head  which 
shone  among  the  brightest  on  the  page  of  American  history — De 
Witt  Clinton.  [Applause.]  The  gentlemen  forming  that  society 
saw  a  number  of  surplus  neglected  children  apparently  with  no  one 
to  take  care  of  them,  and  they  proposed  to  take  care  of  the  chilflren 
for  Avhom  nobody  cared  before.  Their  object  was  pure,  and  be- 
nevolent, and  patriotic ;  and  accordingly  in  the  very  first  charter  of 
this  society,  which  however  has  since  repeatedly  changed  its  name, 
the  object  was  stated  to  be — ■'■'■  the  education  of  the  children  of  per- 
sons in  indigent  circumstances,  and  who  do  not  belong  to,  or  are 
not  provided  for,  by  any  religious  society."  In  that  charter  there 
was  nothing  said  about  excluding  sectarianism:  nothing  of  the  sort; 
but  when  they  go  before  the  Legislature,  they  go  before  a  Christian 
legislature,  and  no  doubt  they  were  Christians  themselves  and  men 
of  good  motive.  After  the  first  paragraph  in  their  act  of  incorpora- 
tion, the  second  begins — "  And  whereas  the  said  persons  have  pre- 
sented a  petition  to  the  Legislature  settuig  forth  the  benefits  Avhich 


woiild  result  to  society  from  the  education  of  such  children,  h^^ 
planting  in  their  minds  the  principles  of  religion  and  morality,  and  by 
assisting  theii-  parents  to  provide  suitable  situations  for  them,  where 
habits  of  industry  and  virtue  may  be  acquired,  and  that  it  would 
enable  them  more  effectually  to  accomplish  the  benevolent  objects  of 
their  institution,  if  the  association  were  incorporated."  And  this 
ime  Society  which  was  originally  instituted  to  implant  in  the  minds 
jf  children  "  the  principles  of  religion  and  morality,"  now  came  out 
against  Catholics  and  said,  if  they  gave  children  such  instruction 
they  were  not  entitled  to  any  beAefit  from  the  Public  School  Fund 
[hear,  hear],  and  they  have  not  only  said  so,  but  from  the  period 
of  the  misapplication  of  the  funds  by  one  society  being  detected,  the 
part  which  related  to  religious  societies  before,  was  altered  by  law. 
Until  that  time,  every  society  had  the  right  to  go  before  the  Corpo- 
ration an(J  demand  its  share  ;  but  from  that  time  they  were  deprived 
of  the  right  to  demand  it,  but  a  discretion  was  given  to  the  Common 
Council ;  as  though  the  Legislature  had  said,  "  here  is  abuse  ;  if  it  is 
connected  with  that  system  let  it  be  abolished ;  but  we  leave  the 
Common  Council  of  New  York  to  determine  what  schools  shall  be 
entitled  to  the  money;"  and  after  that  arrangement  between  the 
Legislature  and  the  Common  Council,  they  each  (Christian  denomi- 
nation) apparently  gave  up  to  the  system,  and  so  it  had  gone  on. 
But  up  to  this  time  other  societies  had  been  receiving  the  money, 
and  there  was  nothing  in  their  institutions  or  schools  to  disqualify 
them ;  for  they  would  observe  that  they  were  called  either  "  insti- 
tutions or  schools,"  and  either  were  proper  for 'the  exercise  of  the 
discretion  of  the  Common  Council ;  but  while  the  Common  Council 
would  exercise  this  discretion,  behold  these  gentlemen,  who  were 
originally  incorporated  for  the  giving  of  religious  instruction  and 
implanting  of  moral  principles,  step  between  Catholics  and  the  Cor- 
poration and  say,  "  No ;  because  you  teach  your  children  religion 
you  are  not  entitled  to  it."  Now  it  was  a  matter  of  discretion  with 
the  Common  Council ;  there  was  certainly  not  a  single  provision 
that  stood  in  the  way  of  such  a  just  and  fair  interpretation ;  and 
when  the  obstacles  already  alluded  to  were  put  in  the  way,  they  (the 
Public  School  Society)  were  receiving  their  portion  for  the  same 
purpose.  And  after  all  what  was  this  incorporation  but  a  private 
incorporation  like  any  other;  not  one  certainly  to  dictate  to  the 
whole  of  New  York.  It  was  instituted  for  a  specific  purpose,  useful 
and  honorable  in  itself;  and  he  had  no  doubt  that  those  gentlemen's 
best  wishes  were  for  the  extension  of  their  system  of  education ; 
but  they  ought  not  to  force  it  on  Catholics ;  it  was  not  modest  in 
them  to  do  so,  nor  to  send  advocates  to  the  Common  Council  to 
plead  against  the  rights  of  Catholics  when  they  were  but  a  private 
corporation  themselves.  If  they  had  represented  the  whole  State 
and  had  obtained  a  "patent-general"  he  should  have  respected  them 
and  their  opposition  ;  but  their  act  of  incorporation  was  private,  and 
they  had  never  been  able  to  raise  it  to  more  than  that.  But  he 
would  show  a  little  of  its  history  by  an  abstract  of  its  several  acts 


of  incorporation.  Originally,  it  seemed,  it  was  the  smallest  of  all, 
but  like  Pharaoh's  lean  kine,  it  had  eaten  up  all  the  rest.  In  1805 
it  was  incorporated  by  the  name  of  "A  Society  instituted  in  the 
city  of  'New  York  for  the  establishment  of  a  Free  School,  for  the 
education  of  poor  children,  who  do  not  belong  to,  or  are  not  pro- 
vided for  by  any  religious  society."  In  IgOS  its  power  was  extended 
to  on?/  poor  or  destitute  children,  and  its  name  was  changed  to  that 
of  "  The  Free  School  Society  of  Few  York."  Here  in  three  years  after 
its  origin  was  the  first  extension  of  its  powers,  though  there  were 
several  intermediate  acts  swelling  its  privileges.  The  enactment 
was  in  these  words :  "  The  name  of  the  said  corporation  shall  be,  and 
hereby  is,  changed,  and  that  it  shall  in  future  be  denominated,  '  The 
Free  School  Society  of  Few  York,'  and  that  its  powers  shall  extend 
to  all  children,  who  are  proper  objects  of  a  gratuitous  education.' " 

Now  there  was  something  worthy  of  notice  in  the  last  name  as- 
sumed, that  of  "  Public  Schools,"  with  which  they  were  authorized 
by  another  act  of  the  Legislature  of  1826,  to  label  these  schools, 
"  Public  School  Society  of  Few  York  !"  as  though  they  belonged  to 
the  State,  whereas  the  schools  belonged  but  to  the  Society  itself,  ac- 
cording to  their  charter.  It  was  to  be  observed  that  this  Society 
claimed;  and  he  did  not  pretend  to  deny  their  claim  to,  patriotic  in- 
tentions and  good  motives,  but  if  their  good  intentions  conflicted 
with  the  rights  of  Catholics  it  could  not  be  expected  that  Catholics 
would  submit  to  their  good  "  intentions."  Thus  this  Society  had 
gone  on,  and  it  had  received  aid  to  erect  its  public  schools,  and  in 
another  act  they  were  authorized  to  receive  payment  from  the  parents 
of  scholars,  and  yet  were  not  to  be  deprived  on  that  account  of  a 
corresponding  portion  of  the  public  fund ;  so  that  they  could  receive 
pay  from  the  parent  and  yet  count  the  child  in  the  number  of  those 
for  whom  they  received  payment  from  the  State.  Fo  doubt  they 
wished  the  poor  to  attend  those  schools :  the  schools  were  intended 
for  all,  but  jsrincipaliy  for  the  poor,  whose  parents  were  not  able  to 
give  them  a  good  education  ;  but  they  were  now  attended  by  the 
children  of  such  respectable  citizens  that  the  children  of  the  poor,  in 
their  mean  robes  and  unseemly  garments,  were  often  ashamed  to 
appear  in  such  genteel  company.  Well,  then  those. schools  received 
certain  specific  ajipropriations,  they  then  might  receive  payment 
from  the  parents  of  children  attending  and  did  recei\'e  from  the 
State  for  the  same  children  ;  and  yet  they  came  in  and  interposed 
between  Catholics  and  this  money  which  they  wanted  for  the  educa- 
tion of  their  own  poor  children  who  could  not  be  educated  at  those 
schools  without  violating  the-  sacred  rights  of  American  citizens. 
[Applause.]  It  was  unnecessary  for  him  to  enlarge  much  further. 
He  had  no  want  of  respect  for  .the  Public  School  Society,  but  it  was 
vain  in  them  to  say  that  Catholics  impeached  their  motives,  or  that 
when  Catholics  objected  to  the  system  they  objected  to  ikem  per- 
sonally. Catholics  could  not  certainly  recognizfe  in  them  the  power 
of  the  State ;  and  with  such  documents  and  books  as  those  he  had 
refcrrelto  they  could  not  submit  to  the  system  notwithstanding 


the  Public  School  Society  could  see  nothing  in  it  objectionable  to 
Catholics.     The  question  was  a  simiDle  one  and  did  not  require  much 
deep  investigation  of  .facts  to  determine  what  should  be  the  issue. 
Enough  was  seen  before  this  discussion  commenced  in  the  sacrifices 
of  the  poor  Catholics — for  they  were  comparatively  poor — to  make 
room  under  their  churches  for  the  education  of  their  children  (while 
they  were  paying  taxes  like  other  citizens)  apart  from  the  instruc- 
tion which  taught  them  of  the  "  deceitful  Catholics"  who  burnt  per- 
sons at  the  stake.     This  proved  that  it  was  no  affectation  on  the 
part  of  Catholics,  but  that  their  consciences  prompted  them  to  make 
sacrifices  to  multiply  schools — to   take  into  their  own  hands  the 
burden  of  giving  an  education  to  children,  imperfect  as  it  must  be, 
with  their  means,  to  3,000,  4,000,  or  8,000  childi-en  at  a  double  ex- 
pense.    For  they  first  paid  to  the  State,  but  seeing  the  advantages 
come  back  so  diluted,  they  paid  a  second  time  to  secure  education 
without  insult  to  their  religious  faith.     It  was  conscience  then  and 
not  affectation  which  prompted  them  to  do  this,  and  whatever  might 
be  the  result  with  the  proper  authorities  one  thing  was  certain,  that 
with  those  schools,  so  constituted.  Catholics  could  have  no  commu- 
nion.    [Applause.]     If,  according  to  the  spirit  of  legislation  on  this 
subject,  their  proportion  of  this  money  was  set  apart  in  amanner 
that  Catholics  could  avail  themselves  of  it,  they  would  accept  it  with 
gratitude  :  if  they  would  give  them  a  place  to  educate  their  children 
in,  or  if  they  would  ev^ n  organize  their  schools,  they  should  be  satis- 
fied.    To  the  system,  that  is,  the  machinery  of  the  system  of  educa- 
tion. Catholics  did  not  object;  and  they  should,  give  proof  that  they 
wished  no  opportunity  to  peculate,  nor  should  be>guilty  if  they  had, 
of  peculation  of  \hese  funds.     Let  them  give  to  Catholics  their  own 
books,  and  they  would  be  content  if  the  minds  of  their  children  were 
not  poisoned  against  the  faith  of  their  fathers,  for  which  for  a^-es 
those  fathers  had  been  ready  to  die,    [Applause.]    If  this  were  done 
Catholics  would  be  grateful,  but  in  their  gratitude  they  should  tell 
those  gentlemen  that  it  was  notliing  more  than  that  to  which  they 
were  entitled.  [Ileai-,  hear.]  But  if  this  should  be  i-efused,  they  would 
but  be  still  as  they  are  at  present ;  and  many  of  them  were  not 
strangers  to  inequality  and  oppression  which  would  strive  to  make 
them  less  than  their  fellow-citizens.     But  let  it  come  to  this  that 
either  they  would  have  the  benefit  of  education  according  to  their  ' 
religious  convictions,  or  that  those  refusing  it  should  say,  "  you  shall 
not,  and  for  no  other  reason  but  because  you  are  Catholics."     That 
should  be  the  ultimate  issue ;  let  the  question  be  reduced  down  to 
that ;  and  if  the  day  was  at  hand  v,±en  the  public  authorities  of 
America  would  offer  such  violence  to  conscience,  and  debar  them 
of  their  rights  as  citizens,  then  they  might  despair  of  the  Kepnblic 
But  he  had  no  apprehensions  of  that'kind.     As  he  had  said  before' 
se\eral  tunes,  whatever  might  be  the  misconception  or  the  want  of 
infonnaliou  or  wroiig  information  or  prejudice  on  the  subject- 
making  allowance  for  all  this— there  was  running  through  the  pubhc 
mind  a  vein,-  a  rich  \ein  of  public  equity  which  would  not  allow  the 


Caf.holics  thus  to  be  deprived  of  their  rights.  [Applause.]  But 
still  he  was  not  surprised  at  the  misrepresentations  of  the  Joxirnal  of 
Covimerae  and  of  the  Churchman,  or  any  other  paper.  It  was  sur- 
prising that  there  was  not  more  misrepresentation,  when  they  con- 
sidered the  way  their  fellow-citizens  were  taught,  and  when  they 
reflected  that  they  were  brought  up  at  the  same  literary  table  where 
they  imbibed  with  their  aliment  a  prejudice  which  an  acquaintance 
with  Catholics  for  life,  of  men  honorable  and  high  minded,  was 
scarcely  able  to  destroy.  What  remained  for  them  was  simply  to 
persevere — -with  moderation  and  dignity,  but  with  a  firmness  wor- 
thy of  their  standing  in  the  American  community — persevering  with 
great  moderation,  but  at  the  same  time  with  great  dignity  and  great 
firmness,  narrowing  the  question  down  until  the  tvs'o  issues  he  had 
mentioned  presented  themselves  alone,  and  they  obtained  that  of 
which  hitherto  they  had  been  denied.  [Applause.]  Yes,  this  was 
the  course  that  was  left  for  them.  He  himself  had  no  objection  if 
the  whole  Public  School  Society  were  there  to  hear  all  he  had  to 
say ;  for  in  all  he  had  said  in '  either  pubhc  or  private,  as  far  as  he 
remembered,  he  always  separated  men  from  things — he  always  sep- 
arated the  men  connected  with  this  school  system  from  that  which 
was  the  legitimate  subject  of  criticism.  He  had  therefore  separated 
the  public  school  and  the  teachers,  but  when  they  sent  books  of  this 
description,  and  when  Catholics  contended  for  their  rights  on  Chris- 
tian principles,  they  were  told  there  was  no  cause  of  complaint, 
justice  required  that  they  should  animadvert  on  the  subject  so  far 
as  was  necessary  to  vindicate  themselves,  but  no  further.  He  knew 
that  was  not  the  place  to  enter  upon  the  truth  or  falsehood  of  the 
lesson  on  "  John  Huss."  They  knew  the  crime  for  which  he  suf- 
fered; it  had  been  on  the  statute  books  for  more  than  six  hundred 
years,  as  far  back  as  Justinian  even.  It  was  a  barbarous,  a  cruel 
punishment ;  but  if  so,  the  gentlemen  should  have  known  that  it  was 
not  Catholics  that  inflicted  it  but  the  law  of  the  empire  to  which  he 
was  subject.  He  might  mention  that  he  had  the  opportimity  once 
to  meet  a  Protestant  gentleman  in  an  assembly  as  large  as  this  ;  that 
when  he  pressed  him  for  proof  he  had  none  to  give  :  and  when  he 
went  further  and  brought  the  case  of  John  Huss,  not  from  a  Cath- 
olic but  from  a  Presbyterian  writer  who  wrote  the  history  of  the 
Council  of  Constance,  the  Catholics  were  acquitted  and  the  Emperor 
alone  was  implicated,  because  it  was-  believed  he  betrayed  Huss,  to 
whom  it  ^^-as  supposed  he  had  given  a  free  pass.  But  L'Enfant  tells 
us  that  before  Huss  went  to  the  Council  the  Emperor  told  him  if 
the  Council  pronounced  hi?  doctrines  heresy,  and  he  did  not  retract, 
he  must  sufier  the  penalty  of  the  law,  and  he  (the  Emperor)  would 
be  the  first  to  aj)ply  the  torch.  But  they  might  as  well  attempt  to 
run  the  stream  of  Niagara  back  as  to  tell  this.  This  was  shown, 
however,  in  the  presence  of  a  Presbyterian  clergyman.  It  was 
printed  and  published  in  the  report  of  that  discussion,  and  to  the 
present  time  he  lias  had  not  one  word  to  say  on  the  subject.  He 
repeated,'  this  wa-s  not  the  place  to  bring  up  things  of  this  kind,  but 


what  must  be  his  feelings  when  he  saw  such  things  in  these  school 
books,  and  this  barbing  of  the  arrow  against  the  Cathohc  rehgion, 
when  he  knew  they  were  not  true.  Even  if  true  they  should  not  be 
put  into  the  hands  of  children ;  nor  should  Catholics  if  they  taiight 
their  own  children  let  them  read  as  a  lesson  a  chapter  on  the  burn- 
ing of  Michael  Servetus  by  Calvin.  If  these  things  were  true  they 
should  not  be  admitted,  for  it  was  not  right  to  prejudice  one  class 
against  another.  But  when  they  saw  these  things  in  the  books  of 
the  public  schools  it  was  not  surprising  that  they  spoke  with  empha- 
sis, or,  as  the  Churchman  has  it,  that  they  should  be  a  little  bold. 
[Great  applause.] 

Mr.  Mullen  rose  and  said :  "  Mr.  Chairman,  I  move  a  vote  of 
thanks  to  the  Editor  of  the  Freeman's  Journal  for  the  trouble  he  has 
gone  to,  and  expense  he  has  incurred,  in  publishing  an  '■'•Exlrar  >iOTL- 
taining  the  Address,  and  for  the  uniform  interest  he  has  taken  in  this 
cause  from  the  commencement."  A  gentleman,  who  sat  in  front  of 
the  Bishop,  said  that  if  a  vote  of  thanks  was  passed,  it  was  first  due 
to  the  Bishop  for  his  untiring  exertions. 

The  Bishop  rose  and  said :  "  I  will  offer  a  simple  observation  on 
this  subject;  certainly,  Mv.  White,  the  Editor  of  the  i^reeman's  Jour- 
nal, is  entitled  to  a  vote  of  thanks,  and  I  think  it  worthy  of  the  gen- 
tleman who  has  proposed  it;  but  at  the  same  time  there  are  so  many 
who  may  be  entitled  to  the  same  distinction,  in  one  form  or  another, 
that  perhaps  it  might  be  thought  a  little  invidious  if  one  should  be 
selected  and  another  not.  I  am  sure  Mr.  White  will  feel  highly 
rewarded  by  the  consciousness  that  he  has  been  at  all  instrumental 
in  helping  the  cause  forward,  and  at  a  later  period,  when  we  have 
approached  nearer  to  the  accomplishment  of  our  wishes,  the  opportu- 
nity may  present  itself  for  such  compliments.  But  at  the  same  time, 
while  I  acknowledge  the  kindness  and  the  propriety  of  feeling 
which  dictated  it,  at  this  moment  I  think  it  would  be  better  to 
omit  it.  Mr.  White,  you  know,  is  a  Catholic  like  ourselves  and  feels 
the  interest  that  we  all  feel,,  and  if  you  commence  this,  the  first  vote 
will  perhaps  be  due  to  the  Editor  of  a  daily  paper  in  this  city  who  is 
not  a  Catholic,  but  who  has  had  the  spirit  and  sense  of  justice  to 
come  out  in  our  favor.  [Applause.]  But  even  in  this  case  I  should 
not  be  for  moving  a  vote  of  thanks,  for  I  am  sure  he  was  actuated 
by  a  sense  of  public  duty,  and  in  that  consciousness  he  will  feel  his 
reward.  We  should  not  be  tmgrateful,  but  for  the  present  I  would 
suggest  the  propriety  of  withdrawing  the  motion." 

Mr.  Mullen.  Mr.  White  has  gone  to  great  expense  in  publishing 
an  Extra  and  has  ably  advocated  our  cause,  for  which  he  is  entitled  to 
our  thanks ;  but  I  consent  to  withdraw  the  motion.     [Applause.] 



The  following  letter  of  the  Right  Reverend  Bishop  Hughes  was 
written  in  answer  to  an  anonymous  communication  addressed  to 
him,  which  appeared  it  the  Evening  Post,  signed  "An  Irish  Catholic," 
slandering  the  motives  of  the  Catholics,  and  charging  the  Bishop 
with  being  the  dupe  of  one  of  the  political  parties  of  the  day : 

Me.  EDiTOEi.Your  correspondent  who  signs  himself  "An  Irish 
Catholic;"  and  dedicates  his  homily  to  me  by  name,  must  be  a  very 
inconsistent  man.  He  must  know  that  thousands  of  the  children 
of  poor  Catholic  parents  are  growing  up  without  education,  simply 
.because  the  law  as  interpreted  and  administrated  under  the  Public 
School  Society,  requires  a  violation  of  their  rights  of  conscience. 
The  number  of  such  children  may  be  from  nine  to  twelve  thousand. 
Of  these  the  Catholics,  by  bearing  a  double  taxation,  educate  four 
or  five  thousand ;  a  few  hundred  have  attended  the  Public  Schools ; 
and  the  rest  may  be  considered  as  receiving  only  such  education  as 
is  afforded  in  the  streets  of  New  York. 

Now  I  should  think  that  an  "Irish  Catholic"  should  see  in  this 
state  of  things  quite  enough  to  excite  my  pastoral  solicitude  for 
the  spiritual  and  moral  condition  of  the  people  committed  to  my 
charge.  In  the  part  which  I  have  taken  in  the  matter,  I  am  only 
discharging  a  conscientious  duty. 

But  it  appears  that  your  correspondent  understands  my  duty 
better  than  I  do,  and  that  I  am  only  the  well-meaning  dvpe  of  a 
"Whig  club  in  disguise,"  notwithstanding  the  "great  abilities" 
which  he  is  pleased  to  ascribe  to  me.  When  I  returned  to  this 
city,  I  found  the  Catholics  broken  up  and  divided,  thanks  to  the  in- 
terference of  such  men  as  your  correspondent.  Now,  happily,  that 
the  question  has  been  relieved  from  all  the  dead  weight  of  poli« 
ticians  of  either  side,  they  are  united.  We  exclude  politics  from 
our  deliberations,  as  carefully  as  religion  is  excluded  from  the  Public 
Schools.  We  are  composed  of  all  parties  in  politics ;  but  as  the 
topic  is  never  introduced  nor  alluded  to,  there  is  no  occasion  for 
disagreement.  We  meet  to  understand  the  injuries  which  we  ai'e 
compelled  to  suffer,  and  to  seek  for  their  removal.  Among  the 
sufferers  are  men  of  both  parties — among  those  who  would  perpetu- 
ate the  injuries,  are  men  of  both  parties — and  our  object  is  to  seek 
justice  from  just  and  upright  men,  who  will  comprehend  our  griev- 
ances, without  distinction  of  party. 


But  it  appears  that  the  Catholics  are  to  rest  satisfied  with  what- 
ever injustice  may  be  inflicted  on  them,  lest  their  complaining 
should  be  construed  into  a  "political  purpose."  If  so,  there  re- 
mains nothing  for  them  but  to  endure  in  silence.  Is  that  what  this 
"Irish  Catholic"  requires?  The  Cathohcs  are  divided  in  then- 
politics  ;  it  is  their  right  to  be  so.  But  on  the  question  of  public 
education,  in  the  city  of  New  York,  there  is  not  a  Catholic  who  is 
acquainted  with  the  subject,  and  deserving  the  name,  who  is  not  of 
the  same  mind.  I  doubt  much  whether  your  correspondent  is  one 
of  the  number. 

He  is  extremely  liberal  of  imputations  against  the  Catholics  for 
preferring  what  he  admits  to  be  their  "  rightful  claims."  But  he 
has  forgotten  to  get  any  respectable  vouch'er  to  endorse  the  purity 
of  his  motives  in  opposing  them.  Pie  calls  one  of  the  parties  into 
which  the  country  is  divided  "  our  natural  enemies."  I  do  not 
know  what  such  expressions  mean  in  the  slang  of  politicians,  but 
there  is  no  class  of  enemies  of  whom  the  Catholics  should  be  more 
on  their  guard  than  of  such  as  would  traflic  on  their  creed  and 
country  in  order  to  get  their  votes — men  who  in  periods  of  political 
excitement  become  more  Irish  than  the  Irish  themselves,  and  more 
orthodox  than  the  Church ;  whilst  to  both  they  are  little  less  than  a 
permanent  scandal  at  all  other  seasons.  Can  your  correspondent 
show  me  a  certiiicate  from  any  pastor  of  'New  York,  that  he  has 
complied'  with  his  religions  duties  as  a  Catholic  within  the  last 
seven  years  ?  He  is  a  political  Catholic,  just  as  Lelande,  although 
an  atheist,  professed  himself  a  Catholic  atheist. 

N'ow  I  charge  upon  your  correspondent  the  attempt  to  defeat 
those  claims  which  he  acknowledges  to  be  just.  And  yet  he  is  ap- 
prehensive, forsooth,  that  I  shall  narrow  the  sphere  of  my  useful- 
ness by  supporting  those  just  claims,  and  doing  so  without  giving 
any  opportunities  for  political  demagogues  of  either  party  to  carry 
divisions  into  our  union.  Let  him  not  be  uneasy.  If  he  be  an 
"  Irish  Catholic,"  his  commvmication  proves  that  he  must  have  be- 
come very  "enlightened"  since  he  arrived  in  this  country.  The 
manual  of  politics  must  have  superseded  the  Council  of  Trent  in  • 
his  mind. 

He  is  not  even  a  good  reasoner,  nor  in  my  mind  a  clever  poli- 
tician. He  acknowledges  the  claims  of  the  Catholics  to  be  just, 
and  yet  he  denominates  their  efforts  in  urging  those  claims  a  "  pious 
fraud."  He  knows  that  the  Catholic  public  are  unanimous  in  their 
determination  to  prosecute  their  "rightful  claims,"  and  yet  he  asserts 
that  they  will  receive  from  the  Catholic  public  (i.  e.  themselves)  "  that 
contempt  which  they  deserve." 

Even  the  party  which  he  affects  to  support  cannot  escape  the 
havoc  of  his  hasty  logic.  He  tells  us  that  our  better  hope  of  justice 
will  be  from  his  party,  ,"  when  in  power,"  as  if  nothing  but  power 
tt-as  Avanting,  when  they  refused  those  claims  last  spring.  They  had 
the  power  and  refused  to  exercise  it.  What  more  could  our  "natural 
enemies  "  do  ?     But  I  will  save  him  from  the  consequences  of  his 


vicious  reasoning  by  observing  that  the  Common  Council,  in  conse- 
quen9e  of  not  understanding  our  claims  as  they  should  have  been 
set  forth  and  understood,  made  a  false  issue — and  refused  what  we  do 
not  ask,  viz.,  public  money  for  Catholic  education.  I  believe  that 
had  they  understood  our  grievance  simply  as  they  exist,  they  would 
'lave  come  to  a  different  conclusion.  Consequently,  in  connection 
with  the  subject  of  Public  School  Education,  it  is  not  necessary  for 
any  Catholic  to  change  his  political  party,  although  they  are  free  to 
do  so  if  they  choose. 

I  regret  exceedingly,  Mr.  Editor,  to  be  obliged  to  trespass  upon 
the  limits  of  your  valuable  paper,  or  to  appear  before  the  public  in. 
reply  to  a  correspondent  who  conceals  his  name,  and  adopts  a  signa- 
ture of  which,  in  the  present  instance,  I  believe  him  to  be  altogether  un- 
worthy. I  have  had  no  connection  with  political  parties — I  shall  have 
none.  They  are  much  less  important  in  my  mind  than  the  salvation 
of  one  child  from  spiritual  and  moral  ruin.  I  see  thousands  of  the 
children  of  our  poor  Catholics  exposed  to  both;  and  I  appeal  to  just, 
and  humane,  and  patriotic  men  of  all  parties,  to  aid  me  in  effecting 
their  rescue. 

It  could  not  be,  therefore,  without  much  pain  that  I  saw  my 
n^me  pinnacled  at  the  head  of  a  political  appeal  by  a  partisan  in 
politics,  who  professes  by  his  signature  to  be  a  member  of  my 
flock.  I  look  upon  it  as  an  attack  upon  me,  as  an  attack  upon  the 
efforts  of  the  Cathoho  body  to  secure  their  rights  of  education  to 
the  children,  without  prejudice  to  the  dearer  rights  of  conscience. 
Let  your  correspondent  or  any  other  respectable  person  write  over 
his  own  signature,  and  not  as  a  political  partisan,  and  I  am  prepared 
to  meet  him  on  the  whole  question.  But  as  for  anonymous  attacks, 
I  hope  the  present  communication  will  relieve  me  from  the  necessity 
of  noticing  them  in  future. 

I  have  the  honor  to  be  your  obedient  servant, 

Bishop,  Coadjutor  and  Administrator 
of  New  York. 

New  York,  September  3,  1840. 

Meeting  in  the  Basement  of  St.  James'  Church,  Septem- 
ber 7,  1840. 

On  Monday,  the  7th  September,  the  largest  and  most  numerously 
attended  meeting  of  the  Catholics  which  had  yet  been  held  on  the 
subject  of  Common  School  Education,  convened  in  the  basement 
of  St.  James'  Church.  The  meeting  having  been  called  to  order, 
Thomas  O'Connor,  Esq.,  was  unanimously  elected  to  preside  over 
their  deliberations,  and  the  secretaries  appointed  on  former  occasions 
were  again  re-elected  to  that  office.  After  the  minutes  of  the  lasj 


meeting  had  been  read  and  approved,  the  Eight  Rev.  Dr.  Hughes 
rose  and  was  received  with  great  and  enthusiastic  cheering. 

After  the  plaudits  had  subsided  the  Bishop  proposed  to  the 
meeting,  for  their  adoption,  two  resolutions  designed  for  the  regu- 
lation of  their  proceedings  in  discussing  the  important  subject 
which  had  called  them  together.  The  object  of  the  resolutions,  he 
said,  was  to  recognize  the  propriety  of  adhering  strictly,  in  all  re- 
marks that  should  be  offered  to  the  meeting,  to  the  question  before 
thpm,  and  to  induce  gentlemen  who  should  favor  the  meeting  with 
the  expression  of  their  sentiments,  to  give  to  the  subject  that  careful 
consideration  which  its  importance  required. 

The  resolutions  were  then  proposed  and  unanimously  adopted ; 
and  the  Bishop  continued.  All  present,  he  said,  would  at  once  un- 
derstand the  peculiar  propriety,  if  not  necessity,  which  existed  for 
the  adoption  of  these  resolutions  ;  narrowly  watched  as  their  move- 
ments were  on  all  sides  by  many  who  were  ready  to  pervert  what- 
ever might  be  said,  and  to  impeach  the  purity  of  their  motives  and 
intentions,  a  more  than  ordinary  degree  of  circumspection  was 
necessary.  In  other  places,  and  at  meetings  held  for  the  discussion 
of  other  questions  of  public  concern,  a  greater  degree  of  latitude 
was  allowed,  and  so  strict  a  scrutiny  of  whatever  might  fall  from 
gentlemen  in  the  excitement  of  public  speaking  was  not  instituted — 
but  if  any  person  at  our  meetings,  continued  the  Bishop,  should 
make  a  slip,  or  inadvertently  say  anything  that  was  susceptible  of 
misrepresentation,  it  was  immediately  seized  upon.  Our  meetings 
here,  although  not  political  meetings,  are  yet  composed  of  persons 
of  every  variety  of  political  opinion.  But  these  political  opinions 
are  all  repressed  here  ;  they  are  not  suffered  to  influence  the  con- 
duct or  sentiments  of  any  one,  although  they  are  not  abandoned  nor 
laid  aside.  A  man  cannot  lay  down  his  opinions  on  entering  this 
room,  as  he  would  lay  down  his  coat.  He  carries  his  feelings  and 
his  opinions  with  him ;  they  form  part  of  his  identity,  but  they  are 
not  allowed  to  influence  him  on  this  subject.  Our  meetings  are  not 
then  political ;  we  meet  for  the  purpose  of  examining  and  investi- 
gating this  important  subject ;  for  the  purpose  of  extracting  light 
that  we  may  see,  and  understand,  and  be  enabled  to  vindic.ite  our 
rights.  Neither  should  it  be  wondered  at  by  political  men  that  we 
should  assemble  here  to  discuss  the  question  of  our  rights,  and  that 
we  should  oomplain  of  our  grievances.  They  need  not  be  aston- 
ished when  they  witness  it.  If  they  tickle  us  we  must  laugh— if 
they  bruise  us  we  must  complain ;  when  a  cause  exists  they  must 
lookfor  the  effect,  and  need  not  be  surprised  to  find  it.  And  o'f  all 
considerations  that  can  press  anxiously  upon  the  public  mind,  the 
present  system  of  education  in  the  Public  Schools  of  this  city  is  the 
most  important,  both  as  it  regards  the  present  and  the  future  wel- 
fare of  those  who  are  subjected  to  its  influence.  It  is  my  intention 
this  evening  to  review  this  subject  briefly. 

"What  is  the  question,  Mr.  President,  which  presents  itself  to  us 
on  examining  this  subject  ? 


The  State  of  'New  York,  for  the  purpose  of  improving  the  moral 
and  intellectual  condition  of  the  people,  has  appropriated  a  certain 
fund  for  effecting  that  object;  some  one  who  has  professed  to 
understand  the  law,  has  declared  that  it  was  intended  to  aid  in 
diffusing  the  threefold  blessings  of  religion,  morality,  and  education. 
But  by  the  present  Public  School  System  in  this  city,  two  of  these 
ends  are  set  at  naught.  That  system  does  not  indeed  say  in  express 
terms  that  it  is  opposed  to  religion — it  only  declares  that  it  is 
opposed  to  sectarianism.  But  sectarianism  in  this  country  means 
the  whole  body  of  Christianity.  By  the  Constitution  there  can  be 
no  established  religion,  but  all  sects  are  held  alike,  and  the  general 
body  of  Christians  is  made  up  of  all  those  sects,  and  when  you 
exclude  the  sects  or  sectarianism  you  exclude  Christianity.  The 
object  of  this  law  was  to  aid  in  the  inculcation  of  religion ;  but  as 
it  is  now  interpreted  to  mean  religion  without  sectarianism,  it  oper- 
ates, as  I  have  shown,  to  exclude  that  for  which  it  was  professed 
to  be  established ;  it  excludes  the  two  prior  ends  for  the  attainment 
of  which  it  was  designed — religion  and  morality — for  religion  forms 
the  whole  basis  of  the  moral  character,  and  without  it  education  is 
but  a  dry  and  barren  gift — good  for  nothing — and  worse  still,  being 
often,  as  we  daily  see,  only  a  source  of  ignominy  and  deeper  shame. 
Here,  then,  is  the  position  in  which  we  are  placed.  We  are  required 
to  submit  to  a  system  which  in  fact  promotes  irreligion.  But  the 
Constitution  forbids"  the  teaching  of  irreligion  by  the  State  as 
positively  as  it  forbids  the  teaching  of  any  creed  of  sectarianism. 
It  is  as  great  a  violation  of  the  Constitution  and  of  the  sacred  rights 
of  conscience,  which  it  guarantees  to  all  alik6,  to  support  irreligion,  as 
it  is  to  support  any  particular  Christian  creed.  But  by  the  management 
and  the  theory  now  recognized  by  the  public  authorities,  a  state  of 
things  is  brought  about  in  which  we  see  a  great  overgrown  monopoly, 
a  false  monopoly — grasping  at  all  the  public  money — assuming  to 
itself  the  exclusive  right  to  control  and  direct  popular  instruction — 
dealing  out  education  according  to  its  own  notions — setting  parents 
and  guardians,  and  all  who  have  a  natural  or  moral  right  to  interfere 
in  the  question  of  the  education  of  their  children,  at  naught — and 
all  upon  the  bold  pretense  that  the  religious  tendency  of  other  sys- 
tems is  a  disqualification  for  them  to  claim  a  share  in  the  business 
of  public  education.  From  beginning  to  end  this  is  their  argument, 
in  fact,  that  religion  is  a  disqualification,  and  that  the  absence  of 
religion  in  their  system  qualifies  them  to  become  the  exclusive 
teachers  of  the  youth  of  the  country — to  acquire  a  monopoly  of  all 
the  rights  and  privileges  of  public  instructors. 

And  now,  sir,  I  have  some  public  documents  connected  with  this 
subject,  to  which  I  will  call  your  attention.  The  first  of  these  is 
the  "  Report  of  the  Commissioners  of  School  Money,  for  the  Year 
1840,"  ordered  to  be  printed  and  placed  on  file  by  the  Board  of  Al- 
dermen of  this  city,  on  July  27,  1840. 

After  a  very  meagre  statement  of  the  proceedings,  for  a  whole 
year,  of  the  institutions  subject  to  their  supervision,  we  come  to 


(lie  concluding  part  of   theii-  report,  -where  we  find  the  foUow- 

"  The  Commissioners,  in  closing  this  report,  refer  with  satisfaction  to  the  recent 
icisiou  of  the  Board  of  Assistants,  by  which  a  renewal  of  ecclesiastical  connec- 
3ns  with  the  Common  School  System  in  this  city  has  been  unanimously 

Pray,  what  "ecclesiastical  connections?"  asked  the  Bishop;  I 
know  of  none  that  were  sought  for  or  desired ;  I  have  heard  of 
none.  But  it  answered  a  purpose  to  use  these  terms.  The  odium 
of  foreign  ecclesiastical  connections  upon  the  city  authorities  would, 
if  it  could  be  fastened  upon  the  Catholics,  go  far  towards  defeating 
their  just  claims.  They  asked  to  be  allowed  to  participate  without 
violating  their  sacred  rights  of  conscience  in  the  benefits  of  this 
public  fund  towards  which  they  had  contributed,  and  they  are  on 
the  instant  accused  of  seeking  to  impose  upon  the  State  "  ecclesias- 
tical connections,"  and  an  appeal  is  thus  made  against  them  to  im- 
worthy  prejudices  by  their  opponents,  instead  of  reposing  themselves 
upon  the  eternal  rock  of  Truth,  and  looking  to  the  polar  star  of 
Justice  as  their  guide  in  this  important  matter. 

No ;  they  prefer  to  invent  an  imaginary  case  in  order  to  ground 
upon  it  an  appeal  to  popular  prejudice ;  for  I  have  never  yet  heard 
or  understood  that  the  gentlemen  who  presented  themselves  before 
the  Common  Council  on  behalf  of  the  Catholics,  sought  for  any 
money  for  ecclesiastical  purposes,  for  any  ecclesiastical  connection. 
["  Never,  sir !"  exclaimed  some  of  the  gentlemen  referred  to.] 
ittow  can  they  then — how  can  these  Commissioners,  continued  the 
Bishop,  talk  of  an  ecclesiastical  connection  which  was  never  asked 
for  nor  desired — which  was  never  contemplated,  nor  ever  entered 
into  any  person's  mind  but  their  own — which  never  at  least  entered 
into  the  mind  of  a  single  Catholic  on  this  subject?  But  to  proceed 
with  their  report : 

"  Without  adverting  to  inflexible  political  maxims,  which  forbid  such  an  union, 
the  Commissioners  believe  that  practically  it  would  be  offensive  to  the  public 

Not  to  justice,  exclaimed  the  Bishop,  no — but  "  public  feeling !" 
They  will  not  speak  the  truth,  and  declare  that  we  are  a  people 
with  eight  or  ten  thousand  children  deprived  of  education  for  which 
we  have  paid  our  money  into  the  public  treasury,  and  from  the 
benefits  of  which  those  children  are  excluded  because  we  will  not 
outrage  our  consciences.  No,  they  will  not  say  this,  because  this 
would  not  help  their  system,  nor  justify  their  conduct  with  the 
public ;  theywill  not  advert  to  the  principles  of  truth  or  justice  or 
inflexible  political  maxims,  but  to  public  feeling — to  prejudices ;  and 
if  they  can  make  out  that  the  Catholics  want  an  ecclesiastical  con- 
nection, these  popular  prejudices  are  excited  and  their  favorite  sys- 
tem sustained. 

Here  the  Bishop  again  read  from  the  report : 

"  Without  adverting  to  inflexible  political  maxims  which  forbid  such  an  union 


the  Commissioners  believe  that  pvactieally  it  wouU  be  offensive  to  the  public  feel- 
ing; unequal  in  its  benefit  to  the  various  religious  denominations;  and  destructive 
perhaps,  to  the  cause,  now  so  flourishing,  of  free  and  general  education." 

How  can  they,  said  the  Bishop,  call  it  teee,  where  ten  thousand 
of  the  children  of  the  city  are  excluded,  by  the  bad  principles  involved 
ill  this  Public  School  System,  from  a  participation  of  the  benefits 
which  it  would  confer  if  wisely  administered  ? 

The  Bishop  then  continued  from  the  report : 

"  Should  the  school  moneys  be  dispensed  among  the  seminaries,  the  first  qualifi- 
cation of  whose  teachers  is  sectarian  orthodoxy,  and  wherein  prescribed  forms  are 
inculcated,  to  which  the  assent  of  no  entire  neighborhood  within  the  city  could 
be  expected, — " 

I  have  not  heard,  said  the  Bishop,  that  any  such  distribution  of 
the  school  moneys  was  proposed  qr  asked  for ;  but  how  these  ad- 
vocates of  tlie  Public  School  Society  have  lived  by  sectarianism — 
which  seems  to  be  the  beginning  and  the  end  and  the  whole  bur- 
then of  all  that  they  can  say  in  commendation  of  themselves !  We 
are  no  friends  of  sectarianism.  But  it  is  not  the  business  of  the 
State  to  interfere  with  it.  Every  man  has  a  political  right  to  be  a 
sectarian  ;  and  if  we  begin  by  excluding  sectarian  teaching  from  the 
Public  Schools,  by  and  by  the  same  authority  may  creep  into  the 
Church,  and  exclude  all  sectarianism  there.  Every  man  has  a  right  to 
freedom  of  conscienc^e,  to  sectarianism,  if  they  please  to  call  it  so. 
And  it  is  against  this  freedom,  of  conscience  that  this  Public  School 
Society  are  arraying  themselves,  taking,  from  us  our  money,  and 
forcing  upon  us  a  system  of  education  at  which  our  consciences 
revolt.     [Great  applause.] 

But  to  return  to  the  Commissioners  . 
— "  it  is  to  be  feared,"  they  saj-,  "  that  such  a  distribution  would  be  regarded  as 
inconsistent  with  the  common  rights  which  the  present  schema  of  public  instruction 
professes  to  secure." 

How  anxious  they  are !  They  raise  up  a  fabric  of  dangerous  de- 
signs that  had  no  existence  but  in  their  own  imagination,  and  then 
make  a  display  of  their  public  zeal  by  denouncing  it.  Why  did 
they  not  look  at  the  reality,  and  tell  the  Common  Council  that  it 
was  a  grievance  for  Catholics  to  pay  taxes  for  the  support  of  a  com- 
mon system  of  education,  and  then  to  be  excluded  from  that  system 
and  obliged  to  pay  again  for  the  education  of  their  own  poor  ?  But 
no,  instead  of  that,  they  make  out  an  imaginary  case  in  order  to 
justify  the  course  which  they  have  pursued,  and  waste  tlieir  paper 
in  describing  dangers  which  were  no  where  to  be  seen.  But  I  have 
repeatedly  shown  that  this  sectarianism  is  nothing  else  than  Chris- 
tianity, and  that  therefore  the  exclusion  of  it  is  the  exclusion  of 
Christianity.  If  this  is  not  the  design  of  those  who  have  tlie  dis- 
tribution of  this  public  fund,,  if  they  are  sincere  in  their  professions 
of  regard  for  religion,  and  that  they  desire  that  the  youthful  mind 
of  the  country  should  be  imbued  with  its  spirit,  why  require  the 
public  moneys  to  fee  given  to  the  support  of  a  system  that  can  only 


aid  in  producing  subjects  for  infidelity,  already  so  rampant  in  the 

I  know,  sir,  of  the  case  of  an  individual,  he  was  one  who  lived 
long,  and  who  carried  with  him  in  his  mind  but  one  single  idea, 
that  was  the  idea  of  the  length  and  breadth  of  a  dollar.  And  by 
turning  that  one  idea  over  and  over,  he  doubled  and  multiplied  it, 
and  when  in  his  old  age  he  died,  he  died  worth  fifteen  millions  of 
dollars.  That  man  was  Stephen  Girard,  of  Philadelphia.  He  made 
a  will  and  appropriated  a  large  portion  of  his  wealth  to  the  educa- 
tion of  orphans.  In  that  will  there  is  a  clause  of  a  genius  so  similar 
to  the  spirit  of  our  Public  School  Society,  that  one  would  suppose 
they  had  both  derived  their  philosophy  from  the  same  source.  I 
will  read  it  for  you — I  have  the  entire  will  here  with  me.  This  is 
the  clause : 

"  Secondly,  /  enjoin  and  require  thai  no  ecelesiaslical  missionary  or  minister  of  any 
sect  whatsoever  shall  ever  hold  or  exercise  any  station  whatsoever  in  the  said  college  ; 
nm-  shall  any  such  person  ever  be  admitted  for  any  purpose,  or  as  a  viiitor,  within  the 
premises  appropriated  to  the  purposes  of  the  said  college.  In  making  this  restriction 
I  do  not  mean  to  cast  any  reflection  upon  any  sect  or  person  whatsoever ;  "but  as 
there  is  such  a  multitude  of  sects,  and  such  a  diversity  of  opinion  amongst  them, 
I  desire  to  keep  the  tender  minds  of  the  orphans  [Oh,  the  merciful  Stephen  Girard  I] 
who  are  to  derive  advantage  from  this  bequest,  free  from  the  excitement  which 
clashing  doctrines  and  sectarian  controversy  are  so  apt  to  produce." 

Almost  a  copy  word  for  word  of  the  doctrines  of  our  Public 
School  Society  ;  only  that  as  Stephen  Girard  is  dead  some  eight  or 
ten  years,  and  must  have  niade  his  will  before  he  died,  we  might 
doubt  which  of  them,  Stephen  or  the  Public  School  Society,  was 
entitled  to  the  credit  of  originality  in  this  rigid  and  pertinacious  ex- 
clusion of  all  sectarianism  from  their  system  of  education.  [Laughter.] 
But  the  wiU.  continues  : 

"  My  desire  is  that  all  the  instructors  and  teachers  in  the  college  shall  take  pains 
to  instill  into  the  minds  of  the  scholars  tlie  purest  principles  of  morality," — 

Just  as  the  gentlemen  of  the  Public  School  say.  But  where  will 
you  get  morality  when  you  exclude  religion  ? 

— "  so  that  on  their  entrance  into  life  they  may  from  inclination  and  habit  evince 
benevolence  towards  their  fellow  creatures  and  a  love  of  truth,  sobriety,  and  industry, 
adopting  at  the  same  time  such  religious  tenets  as  their  matured  reason  may  eniible 
them  to  prefer." 

That  is,  said  the  Bishop,  regarding  the  mind  of  the  pupil  just  as 
you  would  a  machine,  which  when  once  set  in  motion  would  con- 
tinue on  without  change  or  cessation,  that  would  be  so  long  accus- 
tomed to  turn  on  one  particular  cog  that  it  would  continue  to  do  so 
for  ever  after.     [Laughter.] 

I  know,  sir,  of  no  parallel  to  the  course  of  our  Public  School  So- 
ciety but  this  individual  instance  of  Stephen  Girard.  But  the  par- 
allel does  not  hold  good  throughout.  It  fails  in  one  important  point. 
There  was  this  difierence,  that  if  he  had  his  own  peculiar  notions  of 
education,  Stephen  paid  the  expenses  out  of  his  own  pocket.  [Great 
laughter  and  appl^iise.]     If  he  was  cruel  to  the  unhappy  orphan  and 


W'iblied  to  deprive  him  of  the  blessings  of  a  religious  education,  he 
was  willing,  so  far  js  pecuniary  considerations  were  involved,  to  be 
himself  the  ^■ictim  of  his  experiment.  But  these  gentlemen  require 
you  to  pay  for  the  infliction  upon  you  of  the  evils  of  their  system. 
They  demand  to  be  made  the  exclusive  recipients  of  the  public 
money ;  that  it  shall  all  be  handed  over  to  them,  and  that  they  shall 
be  allowed  to  give  you  in  return  just 'such  a  system  of  education  as 
they  shall  be  pleased  to  provide,  no  matter  how  it  may  conflict  with 
your  rights  or  your  consciences.     [Great  applause.] 

I  will  now  offer  some  remarks  upon  some  other  public  documents 
connected  with  this  subject  which  I  have  with  me  this  evening. 

In  document  ISTo.  80,  of  the  records  or  proceedings  of  the  Common 
Council,  is  contained  the  Eeport  of  the  Committee  of  the  Common 
Council,  to  whom  the  claims  of  the  Catholics  to  a  portion  of  the 
Common  School  Fund  was  referred.  In  this  Eeport  the  Committee 
draw  a  distinction  between  the  name  "  Incorporated  Religious  So- 
cieties," who  under  the  old  law  had  an  absolute  right  to  the  fund, 
and  the  term  "  societies,"  as  used  in  the  Revised  Statutes,  and  come 
to  the  conclusion  that  a  religious  incorporated  society  is  not  a  "  so- 
ciety," within  the  meaning  of  the  new  law.  But  we  will  not  be  par- 
ticular about  terms,  and  if  they  will  deny  it  to  us  as  a  "  Society," 
they  are  still  authorized  to  grant  a  share  of  the  public  fund  to  "  In- 
stitutions or  Schools,"  and  Catholic  schools  can  certainly,  equally 
with  others,  be  embraced  under  one  of  those  terms. 

The  Committee  also  talre  up  the  objections  made  by  the  Catholics 
to  the  present  administration  of  the  Common  School  System  and 
attempt  a  reply  to  them. 

"  It  is  urged,"  say  the  Committee,  "  on  the  part  of  the  Catholic  petitioners  that 
they,  as  tax-payers,  contribute  to  the  fund  thus  annually  raised,  and  that  they  are 
thus  entitled  to  participate  in  its- benefits.  This  is  undoubtedly  true,  but  it  should 
be  borne  in  mind,  that  they  are  taxed  not  as  members  of  the  Bomaii  Catholic 
Church,  but  as  citizens  of  the  State  of  New  York." 

That  is,  said  the  Bishop,  we  are  citizens  when  they  come  to  us  to 
gather  the  taxes,  but  we  are  Roman  Catholics  when  we  look  for  a 
share  of  the  fund  thus  contributed.  [Tremendous  applause,]  lam 
at  a  loss  to  learn  the  grounds  of  this  distinction.  That  we  were  cit- 
izens so  long  as  we  had  taxes  to  pay  was  not  denied  ;  but  when  we 
seek  to  participate  in  the  fund,  with  all  their  best  efforts  they  could 
only  see  one  thing,  that  we  were  Roman  Catholics.  But  we  tell 
them  now  that  we  want  this  money  as  citizens.  We  are  Catholics, 
it  is  true,  and  the  Constitution  gives  us  a  right  to  be  what  we  are, 
and  as  citizens  we  come  and  ask  for  our  rights  in  this  matter.  But 
the  whole  proceeding  on  their  part  has  been  designed  to  baffle  and 
put  us  off.  To  use  a  homely  expression,  they  have  only  been  throw- 
ing dust  in  the  eyes  of  the  public.  What  is  it  but  throwing  dust, 
teaching  all  who  are  interested,  that  we  are  looking  for  the  public 
money  to  support  religion,  when  we  would  be  amongst  the  very  first 
to  resist  such  an  application  of  those  moneys. 

There  is  another  point  in  relation  to  this  Report ;  and  it  is  one  of 


humiliation  when  I  consider  that  the  disingenuonsness  to  which  I 
refer  (jould  enter  into  the  minds  or  plans  of  the  high-mmded  gen- 
tlemen who  framed  the  Report.  It  is  entitled  "The  Report  ot  the 
Committee  on  Arts  and  Sciences  and  Schools,  on  the  petition  ot  the 
officers  and  members  of  the  Roman  Catholic  and  other  churches  in 
the  city  of  New  York,  for  an  apportionment  of  school  moneysto  the 
schools  attached  to  said  churches."  ISTow,  said  the  Bishop,  with  the 
exception  of  the  trustees  of  the  Scotch  Presbyterian  Church  and  the 
Hebrew  congregations  in  Crosby  and  Elm  streets,  there  was  no 
church  in  the  city  of  New  York  that  petitioned  the  Common  Coun- 
cil on  the  subject.  They  sent  in  no  petitions.  They  sent  remon- 
strances, however,  against  the  claim  of  the  Catholics,  saying  in  effect 
to  the  Common  Council :  if  you  grant  to  these  the  Catholic  peti- 
tioners what  they  claim,  you  will  be  run  down  with  applications. 
And  even  the  Hebrews  and  the  Scotch  Presbyterian  Church  who 
profess  to  claipi  a  portion  of  the  fund  do  not  directly  petition  for  it. 
The  Committee  should  not  therefore  call  them  petitions,  but  should 
class  them  where  they  properly  belong,  with  the  remonstrances,  for 
as  such  they  were  intended  to  operate.  Do  I  find  these  alleged 
petitioners  complaining  of  the  present  system  ?  They  say :  "  Your 
memorialists  had  not  thought  of  asking  that  any  portion  of  the  Com- 
mon School  Fund  might  be  directed  from  its  present  channels  of 
disbursement."  What  is  this  but  an  admission,  an  implied  declara- 
tion, that  such  a  diversion  of  the  fund  from  its  present  channel 
would  be  improper,  and  the  whole  is  designed  to  impress  upon  the 
Common  Council  the  recollection  that  if  the  Catholic  demand  was 
granted  other  claimants  would  arise ;  for  this  purpose  these  petitions 
were  sent  in  and  intended  to  be  used,  and  in  that  respect  they  are 
more  effective  than  the  remonstrances  which  they  appear  designed 
to  co-operate  with.  I  do  not  say  that  such  was  the  design,  but  such 
is  the  effect  in  point  of  fact.  "  They  had  not  thought,"  they  say, 
"  of  asking  that  any  portion  of  the  Common  School  Fund  should  be 
directed  from  its  present  channels  of  disbursement."  Why  then 
petition  unless  to  discredit  the  Catholics  ?  Here  again,  following  up 
the  same  idea  :  "  But  understanding  that  the  trustees  of  the  Cath- 
olic Schools  of  this  city  have  asked  for  a  part  of  said  fund,  if  your 
honorable  body  shall  determine  to  grant  their  request  and  thus  estab- 
lish the  principle  that  this  fund  though  raised  by  general  tax  may 
be  appropriated  to  church  or  sectarian  schools,  then  your  memorialists 
respectfully  but  earnestly  contend  that  they  are  entitled  to  a  ratable 
jiortion  thereof." 

We  do  not,  said  the  Bishop,  want  this  money  for  church  or  sec-' 
tarian  schools.     We  merely  want  to  educate  our  children  without 
instilling  poisonous  matter  into  their  minds. 

(The  Bishop  here  read  the  conclusion  of  the  Petition  of  the  Scotch 
Presbyterian  Church,  praying  that  they  may  be  allowed  to  draw  on 
the  school  fund  for  the  children  taught  at  their  schools ;  and  also 
the  petition  of  the  Hebrew  Congregation  of  a  similar  tenor,  praying 
for  a  portion  of  the  fund,  ''provided  the  Common  Council  should  de- 


termine  to  appropriate  it  zaiih  reference  to  religious  faith")  These 
two  petitions,  then,  continued  the  Bishop,  tlie  only  ones  praying  in 
any  manner  for  a  portion  of  the  fund,  are,  in  fact,  prayers  against 
our  rights — remonstrances — and  should  be  classed  with  them.  They 
do  not  allege  that  they  "want  the  fund  or  that  they  are  suffering  any 
grievance — but  they  caution  as  it  were  the  Common  Council  against 
granting  the  relief  we  ask,  as,  in  that  event,  they  will  also  demand  a 

All  these  gentlemen  seem  to  think  that  we  are  very  difficult  to 
please ;  and  they  particularly  urge  that  if  we  press  our  claims,  the 
present  system  of  public  education  will  be  broken  up.  But  I  have 
a  simple  answer  to  these  objections.  The  schools  are  not  as  sacred 
as  conscience.  The  Constitution  secures  the  right  of  conscience  to 
parent  and  child,  but  is  silent  on  the  rights  of  Common  Schools. 
There  is  then  this  answer  to  the  argument  which  they  draw  from, 
the  dangers  to  which  the  prosecution  of  our  claim  exposes  the  Com- 
mon School  System.  But  we  have  another  answer.  Every  other 
denomination  seems  entirely  satisfied  with  the  present  system.  But 
we  are  not  satisfied  with  it.  It  is  not  one  that  we  ever  can  be  satis- 
fied with.  I  shall  show  you  presently  that  all  who  have  sent  in  re- 
monstrances against  our  rights  approve  of  the  ^jresent  Public  School 

The  first  on  the  list  of  remonstrances  against  our  rights  which  we 
have  in  this  document  No.  80,  is  "  The  Remonstrance  of  the  Trus- 
tees of  the  Public  School  Society ;"  they  of  course  approve  of  their 
own  system,  and  after  stating  their  objections  to  our  claim,  they 
conclude  by  saying,  that  their  Executive  Committee  will  present  a 
remonstrance  more  in  detail.  And  in  this  remonstrance  of  the  Ex- 
ecutive Committee  which  I  have  also  here,  are  some  allegations  that 
require  a  passing  comment.  They  state  there  that  the  objections  of 
the  Catholics  to  the  Public  Schools  are  not  "  on  account  of  any  rehg- 
ious  doctrines  taught  in  them,  but  because  the  peculiar  doctrines  of 
the  Church  of  Rome  are  not  taught  therein ;  and  they  now  ask  (the 
remonstrance -adds)  for  a  portion  of  the  public  money,  in  order  that 
these  doctrines  may  be  taught  in  connection  with  the  kind  of  instruc- 
tion for  which  these  moneys  were  raised."  In  the  preceding  para- 
graphs are  the  following  statements:  "The  managers  of  these 
schools  (the  Catholic  schools),  having  what  they  might  deem  higher 
and  more  important  objects  in  view,  in  the  inculcation  of  religious 
creeds  or  dogmas,  could  scarcely  fail  to  neglect  the  literary  for  the 
religious  culture  of  the  children's  minds.  If  it  be  urged  that  the 
Catholic  schools  are  open  to  all,  without  distinction  as  to  religious 
sect,  your  remonstrants  reply  that  this  ftict  only  enhances  the  objec- 
tion to  granting  the  prayer  of  their  petition  ;  which  then  virtually  is 
that  they  may  lie  enabled  to  gain  proselytes  at  the  public  expense." 

First  they  object  to  us  that  if  we  should  be  enabled  to  establifeh 
schools  for  the  education  of  the  Catholic  children,  we  -H-ould  teach 
our  Catechism  in  them.  And  then  if  we  reply  that  our  schools  arc 
open  to  all,  they  charge  us  with  a  scheme  for  making  proselytes  at 


the  public  expense.  On  what  data  do  these  gentlemen  predicate 
these  calumnious  statements?  We  do  not  want  nor  ask  for  the 
public  money  to  enable  us  to  teach  any  religious  doctrines.  Ihe 
assertion  is  a  calumny  for  which  no  foundation  can  be  discovered. 
[Great  applause.] 

And  now  we  come  to  the  Methodists. 

The  members  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,  after  statmg 
in  their  remonstrance  their  objections  to  the  grant  of  the  Catholic 
application,  add : 

"  Your  memorialists  wish  to  be  understood  distinctly  to  declare  their  increased 
confidence  in,  and  approval  of,  the  policy  of  appropriating  the  Public  School 
money  to  Ihe  Public  Schook  only,  and  therefore  remonstrate  most  decidedly 
against  granting  the  petition  of  the  Trustees  of  the  Roman  Catholic  Schools, 
■which,  in  their  estimation,  would  be  a  perversion  of  the  Public  School  Fund."    ^ 

Here  we  find  the  Methodists  expressing  their  confidence  in  the 
Public  School  System. 

"We  have,  then,  the  remonstrance  of  William  Holmes  and  sixty- 
one  other  citizens,  protesting  against  the  diversion  of  the  Public 
School  Fund  from  its  present  channel.  Next  comes  the  remon- 
strance of  the  "  East  Broome  street  Baptist  Church,"  in  which  they 
express  their  beUef  "  that  the  present  popular  and  highly  efficient 
Public  Schools  are  better  calculated  to  promote  the  education  of  the 
rising  generation  than  it  could  be  done  if  entrusted  to  the  great 
diversity  of  religious  sects  into  which  the  people  are  divided." 

"Lockwood*  Smith,  and  two  hundred  and  nine  other  citizens," 
also  remonstrate ;  reiterating  the  groundless  assertion  that  the 
Catholics  want  the  public  funds  to  aid  them  in  educating  their 
children  according  to  their  religious  faith. 

No,  that  is  not  what  we  want ;  but  simply  that  our  children  shall 
not  be  taught  that  Catholics  are  "  deceitful." 

There  is,  then,  no  reason  for  the  Public  School  Society  to  appre- 
hend danger  from  the  opposition  of  other  denominations.  The 
Baptists — the  Methodists — Mr.  Lockwood  Smith  and  two  hundred 
and  nine  others — all  approve  of  the  present  distribution  of  the 
public  fund.  They  have  full  confidence  in  the  present  system. 
Let  them.     We  have  none,  and  have  no  reason  to. 

We  have  here,  too,  the  remonstrance  of  the  "  Reformed  Protest- 
ant Dutch  Church,"  which  I  must  not  pass  over;  for  you  all  know 
that  some  leading  persons  in  that  church  are  the  most  gentlemanly, 
polite,  charitable,  kind  and  conciliatory  characters  imaginable,  when- 
ever they  treat  of  us  or  of  our  religion.  [Laughter.]  Well,  these 
gentlemen,  too,  declare  in  their  remonstrance  their  unqualified 
approval  of  the  present  administration  of  the  Common  School 
Fund.  But  in  referring  to  our  application,  they  make  some  further 

'"We  believe,"  they  say, '4t  is  the  only  instance  in  which  any 
society  of  professed  Christians  has  ventured  to  invite  the  public  au- 
thorities in  so-open  a  manner  to  forget  or  disregard  that  fundamental 
principle  of  our  civil  compact,  '■free  toleration  of  all  religious  denonu 


inaiions,  special  and  exclusive  privileges  to  none,^  and  has  boldly  soli- 
cited  that  their  private  and  sectarian  interests  may  be  taken  under 
the  fostering  care  of  this  State." 

According  to  the  principles  of  this  remonstrance,  then,  said  the 
Bishop,  it  is  necessary,' for  the  existence  of  free  toleration,  to  tax 
you  for  the  support  of  schools  from  which  you  must  either  derive 
no  benefit,  or  allow  your  children's  religious  feelings  and  principles 
to  be  perverted.  For  this  is  the  alternative  that  the  present  system 
imjioses  upon  Catholics,  and  it  is  to  be  relieved  from  this  injustice 
that  they  ask,  and  not,  as  is  untruly  charged,  to  violate  ai>y  princi- 
ples of  free  toleration. 

In  the  same  manner  with  those  I  have  read  do  all  the  remon- 
strances proceed,  approving  fully  of  the  pj-esent  appropriation  of 
the»public  funds. 

There  are  no  grounds,  then,  for  the  pretended  alarm  for  the  pros- 
perity of  the  public  schools ;  or  that  the  costly  piiblic  structures 
which  they  have  raised  will  become  worthless.  Every  denomina- 
tion besides  the  Catholics  appears  to  be  satisfied  with  the  present 
system,  and  from  among  those  who  have  this  confidence  enough  will 
be  found  to  fill  their  schools. 

But  those  gentlemen  go  too  far  in  their  opposition :  they  place  it 
on  grounds  that  cannot  be  sustained  ;  they  go  too  far  for  the  law ; 
and  even  if  the  law  bears  them  out,  they  go  too  far ;  for  if  any  law 
of  the  State  of  New  York  operates  either  to  compel  a  violation  of 
our  consciences,  or  to  deprive  us  of  the  benefit  of  taxation,  it  is  not 
constitutional.  There  is  in.  the  Constitution  no  principle  that  can 
justify  coercion  of  conscience ;  and  against  this  injustice  we  will 
appeal  to  the  end.  We  cannot  be  worse  than  we  are  now.  We 
are  paying  now  for  a  system  from  which  we  receive  nothing  in 
return.  When  I  speak  of  paying,  I  do  not  speak  of  men  who  live 
in  three-story  houses ;  for  we  all  pay,  the  poor  as  well  as  the  rich — 
the  poor  man  in  the  labor  which  he  contributes — not  only  he  who 
owns  or  occupies  a  house,  but  every  one  who  boards  in  a  house 
pays  for  the  support  of  this  system.  We  cannot  be  worse  than  we 
are.  We  have  striven  for  years  to  provide  a  substitute  for  those 
schools  from  which  we  are  excluded,  and  we  cannot  be  reduced  to 
a  worse  extremity.  They  say  to  us,  We  throw  open  our  schools  ; 
why  do  you  not  enter  ?  But  if,  instead  of  learning  truth,  our  chil- 
dren are  stultified  by  false  history,  are  open  doors  a  compensation 
for  such  a  resKilt?  Yes,  take  their  books,  and  when  your  child  has 
read  them  through  from  first  to  last,  what  does  he  know  of  Catho- 
lics? Nothing,;  hardly  knows  that  such  a  people  existed,  except 
when  killing  Cranmer,  or  when  reading  of  Luther  as  the  greatest- 
character  of  the  age ;  or  about  Huss  being  burned  by  those  "  de- 
ceitful Catholics." 

But  if  they  choose  to  represent  Cranmer  as  a  saint,  or  a  martyr, 
they  must  not  force  their  opinion  of  his  character  upon  us.  Scholars 
— men  who  have  studied  and  know  what  the  truth  of  history  is— 
know  that,  so  far  from  being  a  saint  or  a  worthy  character,  he  was 


(at  least  in  our  opinion,  and  in  this  country  we  have  a  right  to  our 
opinion)  one  of  the  greatest  hypocrites.  In  discussing  this  matter, 
gentlemen  vrUl  sny  to  me,  "  Bishop,  do  not  press  your  rights  too 
strenuously;  it  will  only  excite  prejudices  which  you  know  exist  on 
the  subject."  Yes,  they  will  deplore  those  prejudices,  and  yet  they 
will  put  into  the  hands  of  the  children  of  the  public  the  very  sources 
from  which  these  prejudices  are  derived.  They  will  tell  me,  "  Oh, 
you  know  how  prejudiced  the  public  mind  is  ;"  but  if  they  put  mto 
the  hands  of  the  youth  of  this  country  the  false  history  of  Cranmer, 
and  others  like  it,  what  can  they  expect  will  be  the  result  but  a 
prejudiced  public  ?  When  they  bring  forward  passages,  for  the 
instruction  of  children,  from  Beattie,  Robertson,  Hume,  how  will 
children  come  out  from  such  schools  ?  as  if  they  thought  that  Cath- 
olics had  no  existence — did  not  know  their  own  history.  I  speak  of 
historical  learning  particularly.  In  the  schools  they  must  have 
works  to  exercise  and  inform  the  minds  of  children  :  but  why  always 
select  those  which  convey  the  worst  meaning?  We  have  some 
recollections.  Catholics  have  had  a  past — a  glorious  past ;  they 
have  had  a  history — one  from  which  might  be  drawn  ample  lessons 
of  virtue,  and  wisdom,  and  patriotism  ;  and  instead  6f  selecting 
from  false  and  prejudiced  writers,  they  might  as  well  have  gone 
back  and  extracted  some  portions  of  Catholic  history — something  of 
Catholic  achievements — something  of  Catholic  inventions  and  dis- 
coveries. We  should  not  then  witness  the  depressing  effect  which 
the  repetition  of  all  those  slanderous  tales  against  Catholics  pro- 
duces on  the  young  Catholic  mind.  Have  you  not  obser\ed  it 
yourselves  ?  Have  you  not  seen  the  young  Catholic,  whose  mind 
has  been  filled  with  these  calumnies,  half  ashamed,  when  he  enters 
the  world,  of  his  Catholic  name  and  his  Catholic  associates,  regard- 
ing them  often  as  an  inferior,  worthless  set  ?  and  how  often  has  he 
selected  a  different  class  of  companions,  merely  from  the  servile 
influence  of  these  prejudices  !  But  if  we  were  allowed  our  rights, 
and  permitted  to  draw  from  the  treasures  of  Catholic  knowledge, 
how  different  would  be  the  result !  Our  children  might  then  have 
their  minds  imbued  with  a  knowledge  of  all  that  their  Catholic 
fathers  had  done?  they  would  then  know  that  almost  all  the  inven- 
tions and  discoveries  which  ha\-e  ennobled  the  history  of  the  modern 
world  are  the  productions  of  Catholic  genius  or  enterprise;  the 
invention  of  printing— that  greatest  and  most  poweiful  means  in 
the  dissemination  of  knowledge  ;  the  post-office ;  the  Sabbath-school, 
on  which  they  so  much  pride  themsehes,  and  which  is  the  fruit  of 
the  benevolence  and  piety  of  a  Catholic  Archbishop— the  sainted 
Borromeo  ;  the  newspaper  or  gazette  ;  tlie  telescope  ;  the  mariner's 
compass.;  the  discovery  of  this  great  continent;  all  associated  with 
Catholic  names  and  Catholic  genius.  And  to  pass  from  the  material 
world  to  the  world  of  mind  and  morals,  we  will  find  there  the  same 
abundant  store  of  Catholic  associations  with  which  to  fill  the  mind 
of  the  Catholic  child,  and  teach  him  to  look  upon  himself  and  those 
from  whom  he  has  deri\'ed  his  name,  with  respect  and  honest  pride. 


If  you  would  let  them  have  an  idea  of  wliat  there  is  great  or  excel- 
lent in  the  Constitution  of  England,  only  tell  them  to  tahe  away  all 
that  is  Catholic,  and  what  will  remain  ?  Take  it  all,  and  what  will 
be  left  but  poor-la-ws,  and  poor-houses,  and  two  or  three  similar 
institutions.  Such  would  be  the  result  of  a  Catholic  education. 
But,  deprived  of  our  rights,  we  can  only  expect  to  see  two  classes 
— one  educated,  deriving  benefits  from  a  fund  to  which  we  have  a 
rightful  claim,  but  from  which  we  are  excluded ;  one  class  able  to 
devise  the  means  for  their  elevation  ;  the  other  uneducated,  depressed 
and  degraded;  one  composed  of  mechanics,  men  of  knowledge  and 
enterprise ;  the  other  left  to  carry  the  water  and  hew  the  wood, 
without  any  means  for  improving  their  state  except  what  the  poor 
Catholics  can  themselves  provide.  And  all  this  because  we  will  not 
send  our  children  where  they  will  be  trained  up  without  religion  ; 
lose  respect  for  their  parents  and  the  faith  of  their  fathers,  and  come 
out  little  philosophers,  turning  up  their  noses  at  the  name  of  Cath- 
olic, and  ashamed  of  what  they  are  in  truth  too -ignorant  to  respect 
or  comprehend.  Never  was  there  a  more  cruel  injustice  than 
this  system  entails  upon  us,  but  I  am  willing  to  believe  that  it  is  an 
injustice  of  which  those  who  inflict  it  do  not  know  the  full  extent. 
If  the  Public  School  Society  would  remove  the  objections  of 
which  we  complain;  if  they  will  not'allow  bad  books  or  anti- 
Catholic  influences  to  operate  in  their  system,  we  should  gladly 
send  our  children  to  partake  of  its  benefits  ;  provided  advantage  be 
not  taken  of  the  humility  of  their  state,  and  that  it  will  not  be  as  1 
have  known  it  once,  when  a  child  came  home  from  one  of  these 
schools  abashed,  arid  saying  that  he  could  not  again  attend  where  all 
were  dressed  in  their  fine  clothes  and  ridiculed  his  rags  and  poverty. 
We  have  no  objection  that  these  gentlemen*  themselves  should  take 
the  whole  management  of  the  instruction  into  their  hands,  provided 
it  be  done  without  the  accompanying  violations  of  conscience  of 
which  we  complain.  But  I  shall  press  this  subject  upon  those  who 
have  the  right  and  the  authority  to  relieve  us.  1  will  reduce  them  to 
the  necessity  of  admitting  the  justice  of  our  claims,  whether  the  relief 
is  granted  or  not.  We  sh.all  take  away  every  pretext  from  them 
which  they  now  use  to  deprive  our  children  of  the  rights  which  a 
benevolent  country  has  provided  for  them.  Our  consciences  may 
appear  to  them  to  be  singularly  sensitive.  But  what  subject  is 
there  of  greater  interest  ?  At  the  death-bed  of  the  parent  what  is 
there  that  excites  in  his  breast  a  more  keen  and  anxious  solicitude 
than  that  his  child  should  remain  true  and  faithful  to  his  religion  ; 
and  if  such  is  the  anxiety  of  the  dying  parent,  what  must  be  the 
feelings  of  the  living  ?  But  these  sacred  feelings  of  the  parent  are 
disregarded  in  this  Pubhc  School  System,  and  they  treat  us  like  the 
orphans  of  Stephen  Girard.  But  with  the  diflference  which  I  have 
before  noticed,  that  in  this  case  the  money  which  they  waste  in  the 
experiment  is  ours.  But  so  long  as  the  system  remains  unreformed, 
they  shall  not,  they  may  rely  on  it,  have  Catholic  children  to  prac- 
tic«  upon. 


In  the  Kepbrt  of  the  School  Commissioners  for  the  past  year  there 
is  one  thing  I  am  yorry  to  see — the  small  number  educated  by  the 
Public  School  Society  with  the  large  means  at  their  disposal  diirmg 
that  period.  It  is  stated  there  that  they  educated  13,189  children, 
while  we  educated  at  our  own  expense  one-third  of  that  number ; 
and  while  we  were  also  obliged  to  swell  their  fund.  They  received 
from  the  public  fund  $115,799  42,  during  the  past  year,  and  yet, 
while  we  at  our  own  cost  educated  one-third  as  many  childrenas 
they  have  done,  they  come  in  and  remonstrate  against  our  receiving 
any  portion  of  the  public  money  to  which  we  had  contributed. 
They  may  tell  me  it  is  zeal  for  the  cause  of  general  education  that 
actuates  them ;  but  I  assert  that,  with  zeal  and  good  management, 
a  much  larger  number  of  children  might  have  been  educated  with 
the  same  means  than  this  Report  shows.  They  say  they  have  but 
one  end  in  view — the  public  good  ;  but  being  as  they  are  such  large 
recipients  of  the  public  bounty,  they  should  not  be  the  first  to  step 
between  us  and  the  public  councils.  They  do  not  comprehend  their 
own  position.  They  do  not  believe  that  they  are  all  this  time 
swelling  the  tide  of  irreligion.  They  allege  this,  and  therefore  I 
do  not  discredit  their  motives  ;  still,  they  are  not  infallible  nor  im- 
peccable. And  I  do  not  see  but  that,  with  all  their  love  for  power, 
grasping  for  the  public  mbney,  and  stepping  in  to  defeat  the  appli- 
cation of  rightful  claimants,  there  may  be  more  that  is  earthy  and 
fallible  in  their  motives  than  they  admit  even  perhaps  to  themselves. 
But  however  this  may  be,  one  thing  is  certain,  that  while  the  system 
remains  vmchanged  there  can  be  no  more  connection  on  the  part  of 
Catholics  with  the  Public  Schools, 

They  pretend  that  the  law  cut  off  all  religious  societies.  But  the 
law  did  not  cut  them  off.  It  only  moderated  the  right  to  demand 
a  portion  of  the  fund.  It  left  it  discretionary  with  the  Common 
Council  to  grant  or  to  refuse  the  money.  It  did  not  disqualify  reli- 
gious societies  from  becoming  recipients  of  the  public  fund.  I  have 
examined  this  question  carefully  and  as  well  as  my  numerous  other 
engagements  would  permit,  and  I  am  entirely  satisfied  that  no  Cath- 
ohc  can  conscientiously  allow  his  child  to  attend  those  schools  as  at 
present  constituted. 

While  in  the  popular  efforts  at  reform  a  hue  and  cry  has  been 
raised  against  monopolies,  there  has  been  gradually  a  monopoly  of 
mind  established  ;  taking  it,  too,  in  its  most  tender  and  susceptible 
period ;  and  this  monopoly  is  one  which  should  be  guarded  against 
with  the  utmost  jealousy.  The  duty  which  it  assumes  belongs  of 
right  to  the  parent  and  the  citizen,  and  it  is  the  last  which  should 
be  given  up.  If  parents  had  delegated  the  right,  it  could  not  be 
more  authoritatively  used  than  it  is  now  by  this  monopoly.  But 
the  right  has  not  been  delegated.  It  is  a  self-elected  public  in- 
structor whose  members  are  chosen  within  themselves  on  the  prin- 
ciples of  the  close  borough  system.  And  against  this  monopoly 
and  its  spirit  of  encroachment  we  must  never  cease  to  direct  our 
most  anxious  attention. 


The  adversaries  of  our  claims  -will  seldom  now  dispute  the  fact 
of  the  existence  of  our  grievances.  But  they  will  bid  us  look  to 
public  feeling ;  they  will  appeal  to  prejudices  which  they  say  are 
arrayed  against  us.  But  I  have  no  alarm.  All  denominations  they 
say  will  be  leagued  against  us.  If  we  ask  for  anything  unjust,  we 
might  feel  apprehensive.  But  if  we  make  the  justice  of  our  case 
clear,  if  we  clear  away  the  mist  which  these  documents  and  other 
siniilar  misstatements  have  created,  my  confidence  is  unshaken 
their  sense  of  public  justice  will  make  even  our  opponents  them- 
selves accede  to  our  just  and  temperate  demands. 

The  Right  Rev.  Prelate  here  closed  his  address,  throughout  the, 
delivery  of  which  he  was  repeatedly  applauded  in  the  most  enthu- 
siastic manner,  and  he  sat  down  amid  loud  and  long-continued 

When  several  other  speakers  had  addressed  the  meeting,  the 
Bishop  rose  and  said,  that  in  their  present  position  in  relation  to 
this  question  additional  measures  should  be  taken  to  insure  the  suc- 
cess of  their  cause.  They  must  promote  it  now  not  by  speaking 
alone,  and  he  w^ould  propose  that  some  means  of  approaching  the 
Common  Council  should  be  devised  ;  that  a  committee  be  appointed 
for  devising  some  mode  of  ascertaining  whether  the  Common  Council 
are  still  disposed  to  persevere  in  denying  to  the  Catholics  their 
rights ;  that  mode  might  be  either  by  petition  or  in  some  other 
form.  The  Legislature  had  not  denied  to  religious  societies  the 
right  to  receive  a  portion  of  the  Common  School  Fund.  By  the 
alteration  which  had  been  made  in  the  old  law  the  obligation  to  dis- 
tribute a  portion  of  the  fund  among  the  religious  incorporated  soci- 
eties had  ceased,  but  the  discretion  to  make  such  a  distribution 
where  it  would  be  reasonable  to  do  so  was  still  left.  The  law  does 
not  state  that  a  school  connected  with  a  church  should  not  recei^•e 
a  share  of  the  fund.  There  is  no  such  disqualification  imposed, 
and  consequently  a  discretion  is  still  left  to  the  Common  Council  to 
make  such  a  school  one  of  the  recipients,  when  a  proper  case  should 
arise.  It  is  objected  that  the  Catholics  cannot  bring  themselves 
within  the  meaning  of  any  of  the  terms  used  in  the  recent  laws. 
But  let  this  verbiage  be  put  away ;  let  them  call  it  schools  or  soci- 
eties, they  are  certainly  one  or  the  other.  The  law  never  designed 
that  the  Common  Council  should  indulge  caprice  or  whirti;  but, 
when  they  found  a  just  or  reasonable  ground  for  the  application, 
they  should  grant  it. 

This  committee  might  arrange  the  Executive  part  of  the  business, 
said  the  Bishop,  so  that  while  we  talk  and  while  we  write  (for  it 
may  yet  be  necessary  to  write  much  on  this  subject)  we  shall  also 
take  some  more  definite  action  in  the  matter.  I  will  therefore  move 
that  a  committee  of  five  be  appointed  for  the  purpose  I  have  indi- 
cated. I  will  suggest  that,  in  order  to  guard  against  any  imputa- 
tion of  political  partiality,  two  gentlemen  of  the  committee  be 
selected  from  each  of  the  leading  political  parties.  [Great  ap- 


The  Bishop's  motion  being  seconded,  was  then  pnt  to  the  meet- 
ing by  the  chairman  and  carried  unanimously,  and  the  following 
gentlemen  were  appoSited  members  of  the  committee  :  Rt.  Rev.  Dr. 
Hughes,  Thomas  O'Connor,  Dr.  Sv/eeney,  James  W.  McKeon,  and 
James  Kelley. 

Meeting  in  the  Basement  of  St.  James's  Churoh,  Septem- 
ber 21,  1840. 

On  Monday  evening,  September  21,  the  Catholics  again  met  in 
great  numbers  in  the  basement  of  St.  James's  Church,  to  receive  the 
report  of  the  committee  appointed  at  the  previous  meeting  to  pre- 
pare a  memorial  to  the  Common  Council  on  the  subject  of  their 
claim  to  a  portion  of  the  Common  School  Fund  for  the  education 
of  Catholic  children.  The  Right  Rev.  Bishop  Hughes  was  present 
and  was  received  with  a  warm  and  affectionate  greeting  on  his 
entrance.  The  Very  Rev.  Dr.  Power  was  also  cordially  welcomed 
as  he  entered  the  place  of  meeting,  accompanied  by  a  large  body 
of  clerical  and  lay  gentlemen,  after  an  absence  of  some  months  from 
the  city  for  the  restoration  of  his  health.  At  the  time  appointed 
for  the  commencement  of  proceedings  Thomas  O'Connor,  Esq.,  was 
again  called  to  the  chair,  Gregory  Dillon,  Esq.,  was  chosen  Vice- 
President,  and  the  secretaries  of  former  meetings  were  re-appointed 
Mr.  B.  O'Conner,  one  of  the  secretaries,  read  the  minutes  of  the 
last  meeting,  and  they  were  approved  and  adopted.  Mr.  James  W. 
McKeon  then  rose  and  said  that  the  committee  appointed  at  the 
last  meeting  to  prepare  a  memorial  to  the  city  authorities  had  dis 
charged  the  duty  assigned  to  them,  and  were  ready  to  make  theii 
report.  He  therefore  moved  that  the  Right  Rev.  Bishop  Hughes, 
the  chairman  of  the  committee,  be  respectfully  requested  to  read  the 
memorial  which  the  committee  had  prepared.  The  motion  having 
been  carried  by  acclamation,  the  Right  Rev.  Bishop  Hughes  came 
forward  and  read  the  memorial,  which  was  a  most  able  and  interest- 
ing document. 

On  the_  motion  of  Mr.  Gallagher,  the  report  of  the  committee 
was  unanimously  adopted,  and  another  committee,  consisting  of 
Thomas  O'Connor,  Esq.,  Dr.  Hugh  Sweeney,  James  W.  McKeon, 
Esq.,  and  J.  Kelley,  Esq.,  were  appointed  to  proceed  at  once  to 
present  the  memorial  to  the  Board  of  Aldermen  which  was  then  in 
council.  In  the  absence  of  the  chairman  on  this  mission  as  one 
of  the  committee  appointed  for  that  purpose,  the  vice-president 
became  the  chairman  of  the  meeting,  but  he  requested  the  aid  of 
the  Very  Rev.  Dr.  Power,  who  took  the  chair  amidst  loud  acclama- 
tion. A  motion  was  then  made  that  the  Petition  just  read,  be 
printed  and  published  as  containing  an  able,  lucid,  and  clear  exposi- 
tion of  the  whole  question,  and  the  grounds  on  which  the  claims  of 



the  Catholics  rested,  and  that  by  so  doing  it  would  prevent  a  gar- 
bled-statement  of  its  contents  going  befoi-e  the  public.  But  on.  the 
suggestion  of  Bishop  Hughes  that  it  might  be  showing  a  want  of 
proper  courtesy  on  their  part,  to  do  so  before  publication  by  order 
of  the  Common  Council,  the  motion  Avas  withdrawn.* 

After  Dr.  Power  had  addressed  the  meeting,  the  Right  Rev. 
Bishop  Hughes  presented  himself,  and  was  received  with  great 
applause.  He  said  he  had  mentioned,  some  time  ago,  that  he  had 
understood  that  a  reply,  which  usually  meant  an  attempt  at  refuta- 
tion, was  being  prepared  by  the  Trustees  of  the  Public  Schools. 
Happening  to  allude  to  it  one  evening,  he  had  ventured  to  turn 
prophet  and  say  that  it  would  be  no  reply  in  the  sense  of  a  refuta- 
tion, and  that  prophecy  was  fulfilled  in  the  document  in  his  hand. 
He  said  then  there  would  be  no  meeting  and  grappling  with  the 
facts  and  arguments  of  the  Address,  and  he  now  found  that  instead 
there  was  an  appeal  to  public  opinion  !  They  had  tlie  idea  that  the 
prejudices  of  the  community  were  with  them,  and  that  consequently 
they  could  dispense  with  the  trouble  of  contending  with  facts  and 
arguments  at  all ;  and  to  get  the  "  weather  guage,"  as  the  sailor 
would  say,  they  introduce  in  the  first  paragraph  the  old  phrase 
about  "  Church  and  State,"  and  they  represent  the  Catholic  Address 
as  a  new  appeal  for  a  portion  of  the  School  Fund  for  the  support 
of  their  church-schools,  as  schools  in  which  nothing  but  the  cate- 
chisin  was  taught  from  morning  to  night.  He  trusted  now,  that 
the  language  of  their  Petition  would  make  it  clear,  for  they  had  been 
reduced  to  the  necessity  of  telling  them  what  they  did  noi  petition 
for.     [Applause.] 

Well,  after  the  introduction,  which  was  the  making  their  bow  to 
the  prejudices  of  the  community,  they  come  to  a  proposition  at  which 
he  was  startled ;  the  proposition  was  in  these  words  :  "  It  is  proper, 
therefore,  that  the  allegations  contained  in  the  Address  of  the  Roman 
Catholics,  be  either  admitted  or  refuted."  Bravo,  said  he  [laughter], 
now  you  talk  like  men.  In  the  next  sentence  they  said,  "  They  are 
of  a  grave  and  serious  character" — that  they  were  [applause] — • 
"and  such  as  should,  if  true,  justly  deprive  the  Trustees  of  the  con- 
fidence which  has  been  so  long  reposed  in  them.  Bui  they  are  not 
truV  And  that — "But  they  are  hot  true" — was  all  the  refutation 
they  gave.  After  that  they  might  look  in  vain  and  they  would  not 
find  a  single  fact  in  their  Address  disproved;  but  they  proceed  to  ad- 
minister to  that  disreputable  prejudice  on  which  they  calculated  with 
so  much  certainty.  And  as  they  had  furnished  no  ground  of  review, 
as  they  had  taken  up  no  point  of.  the  Address,  as  they  had  not  re- 
futed any  of  its  facts  or  reasonings,  of  course  he  was  dispensed  from 
the  necessity  of  going  over  all  they  had  said,  and  he  should  there- 
fore merely  go  over  some  portions  of  it,  more  for  the  purpose  of  pass- 
ing the  evening  than  for  any  other  purpose.  Well,  they  take  advant- 
age i^f  this  public  prejudice ;  then  they  state  what  they  are  charged 

*  This  Petition  is  given  on  page  102. 



with,  and  they  add  the  significant  words  "But  we  forbear."    [Laugh- 
ter.]    They  say  of  the  books,  though,  afterwards — they  are  brought 
a  little  to  their  senses  and  cry  peccavi — they  do  say  they  have  had 
wrong'  books  in  the  schools.    This  they  acknowledge.     But  they  say 
"  The  reading-books  used  in  the  Public  Schools  are  the  same  as  those 
used  in  private  schools  of  a  similar  grade,  in  which  children  of  vari- 
ous religious  persuasions,  including  those  of  our  more  wealthy  fel- 
low citizens  of  the  Roman  Catholic  Church,  are  educated."     And 
pray  was  it  an  approval  of  those  books  because  some  of  their  "more 
wealthy  fellow  citizens  of  the  Roman  Catholic  Church"  allowed 
their  children  to  be  educated  where  they  were  used.     No ;  but  they 
submitted  to  it.     But  it  would  seem  that  the  spirit  of  Proselytism, 
and  the  device  of  meeting  the  children  at  the  threshold,  had  be- 
come general.     They  attacked  the  young  mind,  knowing  that  they 
could  not  convert  the  grown-up  Catholic  in  whose  mind  their  holy 
and  divine  faitK.was  well  established.    [Applause.]    But  if  Catholics 
had  allowed  their  children  to  attend  schools  where  these  books  were 
used  it  did  not  follow  that  they  approved  of  them.     Again  they  say 
"many  of  them  contain  the  best,  most  sublime  and  impressive  essays 
on  morals  and  religion  that  can  be  found  in  the  English  language," 
— that  is,  they  being  the  judges, — "and  are ■  calculated  to  impress 
on  the  young  mind  a  belief  in  the  existence  of  God  " — what  a  long 
creed  that  is ! — [laughter] — "the  immortality  of  the  soul"— why,  Plato 
believed  that ! — and  a  future  state  of  rewards  and  punishments.  "They 
picture  vice  in  its  naked  deformity,  and  present  virtue  in  her  most 
pleasing  and  attractive  colors."    And  this  is  the  answer  they  give  to 
the  Address  of  th§  Catholics;  and  then,  by  way  of  showing  what  ex- 
cellent institutions  these  Public  Schools  are — for  they  have  not  a  high 
test  of  their  moral  influence^they  say,  "  Let  the  records  of  our  crim- 
inal courts,  our  prisons,  and  the  receptacles  of  those  who  by  reason 
of  'rioting  in  the  fierceness  of  unrestrained  lusts,'  have  become  a 
public  charge,  be  examined  with  reference  to  the  effect  of  our  system 
of  education  on  the  mind  and  morals,  as  compared  with  any  other 
system,  and  the  result  will  be  found  highly  favorable  to  the  Public 
Schools."      That  is  to.say,  if  the  scholars  do  not  find  themselves 
fof-thwith  m  the  Penitentiary,  the  system  is  not  so  bad !     But  we 
should  expect  something  better.     He  had  said  so  to  the  Trustees, 
and  he  violated  no  confidence  by  the  disclosure— [laughter]— he  had 
told  them  that  though  the  scholars  educated  in  those  schools  were  not 
the  persons  most  frequently  found  in  the  criminal  jails,  he  was  able 
to  prove,  so  far  as  such  a  matter  was  susceptible  of  proof,  that  the 
.exclusiveness  and  the  spirit  of  monopoly  in  that  body  of  men,  and  the 
eonsequent  exclusion  of  so  many  from  means  of  education,  was  the 
cause  why  others  do  go  to  the  Penitentiary.     The  children  of  the 
,po_©r  who  did  _,not  go  to  those  schools  were  not  allowed  by  the  pre- 
,va.ling  exclusiveness  in  the  Trustees  to  be  educated  out  of  their 
■",sho,p^    .tbey  were  consequently  left  uneducated  and  unrestrained; 
•they  ^i-e  lett  to  form  bad  acquaintances  by  whom  they  became  cor' 
,j!Ujited,.and  they  corrupters  in  their  turn.    The  cause  was  in  the  ex- 


clusiveness  of  those  men  who  would  not  allow  them  to  have  teachers 
in  whom  they  had  confidence.     [Applause.] 

Here  they  refer  to  a  chapter  entitled  "  Sunday  Morning,"  which  he 
read  at  a  previous  meeting  from  one  of  those  school  books ;  and  of 
all  chapters  they  thought  this  was  selected  with  the  least  judgment. 
They  would  recollect  it  was  a  story  of  a  father  and  his  son  passing 
on  the  Sunday  morning  through  the  churches  of  the  different  deno- 
minations, and  after  entering  a  Catholic  place  of  worship  and  re- 
marking on  every  one  of  the  Catholic  congregation  dipping  his  finger 
in  holy  water  and  crossing  himself  as  he  went  in,  they  wound  up 
that  sincerity  was  the  true  spirit ;  or  in  other  words  that  it  made  no 
difference  what  they  believed — whether  Quaker,  Baptist,  Episcopa- 
lian, Unitarian,  Methodist,  or  Roman  Catholic — provided  they  raised 
the  man  who  fell  in  the  street ;  or  provided  one  raised  him,  and 
another  applied  a  smelling-bottle  to  his  nose,  and  another  ran  for  a 
surgeon,  and  another  attended  to  his  wife  and  children,  it  was  no 
matter  what  their  religious  creed  was.  -  [Laughter.]  Now  this  had 
been  before  commented  on  in  a  newspaper  paragraph,  and  in  a  leisure 
half  hour  he  wrote  an  answer,  and  to  put  it  to  the  test  he  asked  in 
that  letter  that  some  Christian  minister  in  liTew  York  should  be  got 
to  endorse  that  chapter  from  the  pulpit,  and  no  one  could  be  found  to 
do  it.  Now  there  was  a  very  powerful  answer  or  refutation — for  it 
was  to  be  observed  that  they  lay  down  the  rule  that  v/hat  they  don't 
refute  was  to  be  admitted — they  meet  one  of  the  charges  of  objections 
of  Catholics  in  the  following  manner :  "  They  say  that  they  could 
not  discharge  their  conscientious  duty  to  their  offspring  if  they  al- 
lowed them  to  be  brought  up  under  the  irreligious  principles  on 
which  the  Public  Schools  are  conducted" — and  observe  they  profess 
to  exclude  all  sectarianism,  and  if  they  do  they  exclude  all  Christian- 
ity, and  the  system  must  be  irreligious.  Having  quoted  those  words, 
they  give  this  answer :  "  And  while  they  ask  of  the  State  the  means 
of  supporting  their  schools,  that  they  may  train  up  their  children  'in 
principles  of  virtue  and  religion,'  they  assure  the  public  that  they 
would  scorn  to  support  or  advance  their  religion  at  any  other  than 
their  own  expense."  Certainly,  Catholics  assure  the  public  of  that, 
and  he  repeated  the  assurance.  But  they  proceed:  "A  solution  of 
some  of  these  incongruities  may,  perhaps,  be  found  in  the  fact,  that 
they  do  not  class  themselves  among  sectarians,  or  denominations  of 
Christians,  but  claim  to  be  emphatically  '  The  Church.' "  Now  they 
never  found  any  such  expression  in  any  thing  they  had  said.  They 
(the  Catholics)  spoke  of  their  position  as  they  stand  before  the  coun- 
try. The  law  called  them  a  sect,  and  they  spoke  of  themselves  as 
the  law  spoke  of  them,  and  those  men  thus  readily  resorted  to  this 
perversion  of  their  ideas  without  one  iota  of  proof  They  (the  Ca- 
tholics) defied  them  to  show  that  they  had  spoken  as  was  asserted. 
[Applause.]  The  reverend  gentleman  who  referred  a  few  minutes  ago 
to  his  part  of  the  subject  might  have  extended  his  remarks  a  little 
further  in  the  same  chapter.  They  speak  of  the  question  of  education 
in  Ireland,  and  to  justify  themselves  they  introduce  what  they  had 


said  at  a  recent  conference  and  the  reply  that  was  made  to  them. 
They  say:  "It  is  known  that  a  large  portion  of  the  bishops  and  cler- 
gy of  the  established  and  other  Protestant  churches,  and  a  majority 
of  the  Roman  Catholic  bishops  of  Ireland,  have  agreed  upon  a  gen- 
eral system  of  education,  and  a  collection  of  extracts  from  the  sacred 
Scriptures  for  the  National  Schools  of  that  country.  At  the  confer- 
ence just  referred  to,  the  question  was  distinctly  put,  whether  the 
objection  of  the  Catholic  clergy  to  the  Public  Schools,  so  far  as  re- 
gards reading  the  Scriptures  without  note  or  comment,  would  be  re- 
moved by  the  use  of  these  extracts  in  them.  The  answer  was,  that 
the  dissenting  bishops  had  appealed  to  the  Pope  against  the  majority 
of  their  body,  and  as/his  Holiness  had  not  yet  settled  the  question, 
he  was  not  prepared  to  give  his  answer.  The  Trustees  very  much 
regret  that  circumstances  have  placed  them  in  a  situation  which  ren- 
ders this  exposition  necessary.  But  they  could  not  do  less  and  dis- 
charge their  duty  to  themselves  and  the  public."  Why,  the  Trustees 
must  have  strange  notions  of  the  subject  to  suppose  they  need  express 
regret  for  making  disclosures  which  are  published  in  every  pap%r  in 
the  Britsh  Empire ;  but  the  meeting  would  perceive  they  were  still 
feeding  that  abominable  prejudice  of  the  public  mind;  saying  in 
effect:  "Though  the  Protestants  quarrel  among  themselves,  they  are 
agreed  against  you"  (Catholics).  Oh!  but  Catholics  have  appealed 
to  the  Pope,  and  they  wanted  to  create  prejudice  by  that,  while  they 
claim  credit  for  the  moderation  with  which  they  had  made  it  kno-jvn. 
Yes,  the  Catholics  do  consult  the'  Pope,  and  they  glory  in  consulting 
the  Holy  Father,  the  Catholic  Chief  Pastor.  [Great  applause.]  Now 
it  was  not  to  be  passed  over  that  these  gentlemen  are  over  royal  in 
their  ambition  when  they  would  place  themselves  in  juxtaposition 
with  the  British  Crown — would  consider  themselves  as  holding  the 
same  relation  to  us  that  the  British  Government  held  with  the  Irish 
clergy  in  the  question  in  dispute  between  them.  But  here  the  ques- 
tion was  not  the  same ;  for  the  Trustees  of  the  Public  Schools  in 
New  York  were  a  private  corporation,  while  the  Catholics  in  Ireland 
had  to  do  with  the  British  Government ;  and  concession  yielding  to 
that  government  should  form  no  precedent  here.  The  contracting 
parties  on  the  other  side  were  exceedingly  different.  But  they  come 
to  another  point  to  show  their  liberality — they  "yield  to  the  conscien- 
tious scruples  of  the  Roman  Catholics !"  They  yield !  What  have 
they  to  yield  ?  But  they  "  are  bound  to  protect  the  feelings  and  in- 
terests of  the  Protestant  churches  !" 

In  England  there  is  an  officer  who  is  designated  the  "Keeper 
of  the  King's  Conscience,"  and  the  Trustees  of  the  Public  School 
Society  are  become  the  guardians  of  the  consciences  of  both  the 
Catholics  and  Protestants— emph.atically  the  protectors  of  "the  feel- 
ings and  interests  of  the  Protestant  churches !"  [Laughter.]  They 
stand  as  umpires  between  the  churches,  and  they  profess  to  regret 
that  the  Catholic  clergy  have  not  met  them  to  obtain  their  confidence, 
and  to  have  a  joint  examination  and  expurgation  of  the  Public  School 
books.    Why,  if  they  had,  in  what  a  situation  would  they  have  been? 


Suppose  he  should  go  to  the  study  of  those  books  day  after  day,  and 
^veek  after  week,  to  point  out  the  necessary  corrections,  and  after  he 
had  taken  that  trouble  by  courtesy  to  supply  their  want  of  ability  to 
understand  them  themselves,  should  be  told  that  they  must  first 
"protect  the  feelings  and  interests  of  the  Protestant  churches?"  Did 
they  think  Catholics  had  no  "feelings"  at  all  to  be  "protected?"  Did 
they  think  Catholics  would  make  those  corrections  and  submit  them 
to  a  board  where  there  were  but  one  or  two  voices  that  would  be 
raised  to  "  protect "  their  religion,  and  enforce  their  constitutional 
right  to  their  doctrines?  A  question  was  asked  of  him  whether 
jCatholics  would  be  content  if  they  excluded  all  Scripture  "  without 
note  or  comment."  But  he  told  them  that  Catholics  were  too  hum- 
ble to  expect  such  a  sacrifice.  He  was  not  willing  to  put  it  in  their 
power  to  place  Catholics  Jsefore  Protestants  as  having  such  enmity 
to  the  word  of  God.  He  did  not  say  they  would  do  so,  but  it  would 
have  been  in  their  power  to  make  that  use  of  that  concession,  and  t!e 
^vas  resolved  not  to  make  or  give  them  the  opportunity.  And  here, 
again,  after  referring  to  the  Pope,  and  the  question  of  education  in 
Ireland,  they  tell  us  they  "  remain  ready  and  anxious  to  join  with 
the  Roman  Catholics  in  efforts  so  to  model  the  books  and  studies  in 
the  Public  Schools,  as  to  obviate  existing  difficulties.    They  think 

that  it  may  be  done.      But" and  whenever  they  heard  but  in 

language  of  this  kind,  they  might  expect  something  insurmountable 
— [laughter] — "  if,  as  was  the  case  in  the  Irish  National  Schools,  an 
appeal  to  the  Pope  should  be  necessary,  they  are  free  to  confess,  in 
the  language  of  the  Address,  that '  a  perfect  neutrality  of  influence,  on 
the  subject  of  religion,'  is  indeed  impossible."  Why,  the  fact  is  if 
they  had  not  truth  wherewithal  to  meet  the  Catholic's  facts  and  argu- 
ments, as  this  showed  they  had  not,  it  was  not  worth  their  while  to 
sneer  at  them,  or  to  introduce  this  sly  observation  as  though  it  was 
matter  of  their  concern  whether-  Catholics  consult  the  Pope  or  not. 
But  Catholics  did  not  require  the  aid  of  intrinsic  light,  while  they 
saw  the  PubHo  Schools  teaching  their  children  that  Catholics  were 
"deceitful,"  without  distinction  of  age,  clime  or  country.  '  Catholics, 
■who  were  more  tlian  triple  in  numbers  all  the  other  bodies  together, 
when  they  saw  books  put  into  the  hands  of  their  children  which 
stigmatized  them  as  deceitful,  they  had  no  great  necessity  to  consult 
the  Pope  about  the  business.  But  it  was  not  worth  while  to  pursue 
the  subject  further.     [Great  applause.] 






The  Petition  of  the  Catholics  of  New  Yorlc^ 
Beapeotfxdly  represents : 

That  your  Petitioners  yield  to  no  class  in  their  performance  of,  and  dispo- 
sition to  perform  all  the  duties  of  citizens. — They  bear,  and  are  willing  to 
bear,  their  portion  of  every  comnion  burden ;  and  feel  themselves  entitled  to 
a  participation  in  every  common  benefit. 

This  participation,  they  regret  to  say,  has  been  denied  them  for  years  back, 
in  reference  to  Common  Scliool  Education  in  the  city  of  New  York,  except 
on  conditions  with  which  their  conscience,  and,  as  they  believe  their  duty 
to  God,  did  not,  and  do  not  leave  them  at  liberty  to  comply. 

The  rights  of  conscience,  in  this  country,  are  held  by  the  constitution  and 
universal  consent  to  be  sacred  and  inviolate.  ITo  stronger  evidence  of  this 
need  be  adduced  than  the  fact,  that  one  class  of  citizens  are  exempted  from 
the  duty  or  obligation  of  defending  their  country  against  an  invading  foe, 
out  oi  delicacy  and  deference  to  the  rights  of  conscience  which  forbids 
them  to  take  up  arms  for  any  purpose. 

Your  Petitioners  only  claim  the  benefit  of  this  principle  in  regard  to  the 
public  education  of  their  children.  They  regard  the  public  education  which 
the  State  has  provided  as  a  common  benefit,  in  which  they  are  most  desirous 
and  feel  that  they  are  entitled  to  participate ;  and  therefore  they  pray  your 
Honorable  Body  that  they  may  be  permitted  to  do  so,  without  violating 
their  conscience.. 

But  your  Petitioners  do  not  ask  that  this  prayer  be  granted  without  assign- 
ing  their  reasons  for  preferring  it. 

In  ordinary  cases  men  are  not  required  to  assign  the  motives  of  conscien- 
tious scruples  in  matters  of  this  kind.  But  your  petitioners  are  aware  that  a 
large,  wealthy  and  concentrated  influence  is  directed  against  their  claim  by 
the  Corporation  called  the  Public  School  Society.  And  that  this  influence, 
acting  on  a  public  opinion  already  but  too  much  predisposed  to  judge  unfavor- 
.ibly  of  the  claims  of  your  petitioners,  requires  to  be  met  by  facts  which 
justify  them  in  thus  appealing  to  your  Honorable  Body,  and  which  may,  at 
tlie  same  time,  convey  a  more  correct  impression  to  the  public  mind.  Your 
l.etitioners  adopt  this  course  the  more  willingly,  because  the  justice  and  im- 
partiality which  distinguish  the  decisions  of  public  men,  in  this  country, 
inspire  them  with  the  confidence  that  your  Honorable  Body  will  maintain, 
m  their  regard,  the  principle  of  the  rights  of  conscience,  if  it  car.  be  done 
without  violating  the  rights  of  others,  and  on  no  other  condition  is  the  claim 


It  is  not  deemed  necessary  to  trouble  your  Honorable  Body  with  a  detail 
of  the  circumstances  by  which  the  monopoly  of  the  public  education  of  chil- 
dren in  the  city  of  New  York,  and  of  the  funds  provided  for  that  purpose  at 
the  expense  of  the  State,  have  passed  into  the  hands  of  a  private  corporation, 
styled  in  its  Act  o,f  Charter,  "  The  Public  School  Society  of  the  City  of  New 
York."  It  is  composed  of  men  of  different  sects  or  denominations.  But 
that  denomination,  Friends,  which  is  believed  to  have  the  controlling  influ-, 
enee,  both  by  its  numbers  and  otherwise,  holds  as  a  peculiar  sectarian  prin- 
ciple that  any  formal  or  official  teaching  of  religion  is,  at  best,  unprofitable. 
And  your  petitioners  have  discovered  that  such  of  their  children  as  have 
attended  the  public  schools,  are  generally,  and  at  an  early  age,  imbued  with 
the  same  principle — that  they  become  untractable,  disobedient,  and  even 
t-.ontemptuous  towards  their  parents — unwilling  to  learn  any  thing  of  religion 
— as  if  they  had  become  illuminated,  and  could  receive  all  the  knowledge  of 
religion  necessary  for  them  by  instinct  or  inspiration.  Your,  petitioners  do 
not  pretend  to  assign  the  cause  of  this  change  in  their  children,  they  only 
attest  the  fact,  as  resulting  from  their  attendance  at  the  public  schools  of  the 
Public  School  Society. 

This  Society,  however,  is  composed  of  gentlemen  of  various  sects,  includ- 
ing even  one  or  two  Catholics.  But  they  profess  to  exclude  all  sectarianism 
from  their  schools.  If  they  do  pot  exclude  sectarianism,  they  are  avowedly 
no  more  entitled  to  the  school  funds  than  your  petitioners,  or  any  other  de- 
nomination of  professing  Christians.  If- they  do,  as  they  profess,  exclude 
sectarianism,  then  your  petitioners  contend  thafthey  exclude  Christianity — 
and  leave  to  the  advantage, of  infidelity  the  tendencies  which  are  given  to  ■ 
the  minds  of  youth  by  the  influence  of  this  feature  and  pretension  of  their 

If  they  could  accomplish  what  they  profess,  other  denominations  would 
join  your  petitioners  in  remonstrating  against  their  schools.  But  they  do 
not  accomplish  it.  Your  petitioners  will  show  your  Honorable  Body  that 
they  do  admit  what  Catholics  call  sectarianism,  (although  others  may  call  it 
only  religion,)  in  a  great  variety  of  ways. 

In  their  22d  report,  as  far  back  as  the  year  1827,  they  tell  us,  page  14,  that 
they  "are  aware  of  the  importance  of  early  eelioious  instruotion,"  and 
that  none  but  what  is  ^  exclusively  general  and  acripturalin  its  character 
should  he  introduced  into  the  schooU  under  their  charge."  Here,  then,  is 
their  own  testimony  that  they  did  introduce  and  authorize  "religious  instruc- 
tion" in  their  schools.  And  that  they  solved,  with  the  utmost  composure, 
the  difficult  question  on  which  the  sects  disagree,  by  determining  what  hind 
of  "religious  instruction''^  is  " exclusimly  general  and  scriptural  in  its  char- 
acter." Neither  could  they  impart  this  •'  early  religious  instruction  "  them- 
selves. They  must  have  left  it  to  their  teachers — and  these,  armed  with 
official  influence,  could  impress  those  "  early  religious  instructions  "  on  the 
susceptible  minds  of  the  children,  with  the  authority  of  dictators. 

The  Public  School  Society,  in  their  report  for  the  year  1832,  page  10,  de- 
scribe the  effect  of  these  "  early  religious  instructions,"  without,  perhaps, 
intending  to  do  so  ;  but  yet  precisely  as  your  petitioners  have  witnessed  it, 
in  such  of  their  children  as  attended  those  schools.  "  The  age  at  Mich  chil- 
dren are  usually  sent  to  school  affords  a  much  letter  opportunity  to  mould  their 
minds  to  peculiar  and  exclusive  forms  of  faith  than  any  subsequent  period  of 
life."'  In  page  11,  of  the  same  report,  they  protest  against  the  injustice  of 
supporting  "religion  in  any  shape"  by  public  money ;  as  if  the  "early  re- 
ligious instruction"  which  they  had  themselves  authorized  in  their  schools, 
five  years  before,  was  not  "religion  in  some  shape,"  and  was  not  supported- 
by  public  taxation.  They  tell  us  again,  in  more  guarded  language,  "  The 
Trustees  are  deeply  impressed  with  the  importance  of  imbuing  the  youthful 


mind  with  religious  impressions,  and  they  have  endeavored  to  attain  this 
object,  as  far  as  the  nature  of  the  institution  will  admit."     Report  ot  18.37. 

In  their  Annual  Reportthey  tell  us,  that  "  they  would  not  he  understood 
as  regarding  religcious  impressions  in  early  youth  as  unimportant;  on  the 
contrary,  they  desire  to  do  all  which  may  with  propriety  be  done,  to  give  a 
right  direction  to  the  minds  of  the  children  intruSted  to  their  care.  Iheir 
scliools  are  uniformly  opened  with  the  reading  of  the  Scriptures,  and  the 
class-hooks  are  such  as  recognize  and  enforce  the  great  and  generally  acknowl- 
edged principles  of  Christianity."    Page  7.  ,  .  i.  i. 

In  their  .S4th  Annual  Report,  for  the  year  1839,  they  pay  a  high  compli- 
ment to  a  deceased  teacher  for  "the  moral  and  religious  influence  exerted 
by  her  over  the  three  hundred  girls  daily  attending  her  school,  and  tell  us 
that  it  could  not  but  have  had  a  lasting  effect  on  many  of  their  susceptible 
minds.-'  Page  7.  And  yet  in  all  these  "  early  religious  instructions,  religious 
impressions,  and  religious  influence,'"  essentially  anti-Catholic,  your  petition- 
ers are  to  see  nothing  sectarian ;  hut  if  in  giving  the  education  which  the 
State  requires,  they  were  to  bring  the  same  influences  to  bear  on  the  "sus- 
ceptible minds  of  their  own  children,  in  favor,  and  not  against,  their  own 
religion,  then  this  society  contends  that  it  would  be  sectarian ! 

Your  petitioners  regret  that  there  is  no  means  of  ascertaining  to  what 
extent  the  teachers  in  the  schools  of  thisS,ociety  carried  out  the  views  of 
their  principals  on  the  importance  of  conveying  "  early  religious  instructions" 
to  the  "  susceptible  minds "  of  tl>eir  children.  But  they  believe  it  is  in 
their  power  to  prove,  that  in  some  instances,  the  Scriptures  have  been  ex- 
■  ])lained,  as  well  as  read  to  the  pupils. 

Even  the  reading  of  the  Scriptures  in  those  schools  your  petition.ers  cannot 
regard  otherwise  than  as  sectarian ;  because  Protestants  would  certainly  con- 
sider as  such  the  introduction  of  the  Catholic 'Scriptures,  which  are  different 
from  theirs,  and  the  Catholics  have  the  same  ground  of  objection  when  the 
Protestant  version  is' made  use  of. 

Your  petitioners  liave  to  state  further,  as  grounds  of  their  conscientious 
objections  to  those  schools,  that  many  of  the  selections  in  their  elementary 
reading  lessons  contain  matter  prejudicial  to  the  Catholic  name  and  charac- 
ter. The  term  "  Popery  "  is  repeatedly  found  in  them.  This  term  is  known 
and  employed  as  one  of  insult  and  contempt  towards  the  Catholic  religion, 
and  it  passes  into  tlie  minds  of  children  with  the  feeling  of  which  it  is  the 
outward  expression.  Both  the  historical  and  religious  portions  of  the  read- 
ing lessons  are  selected  from  Protestant  writers,  whose  prejudices  against 
the  Catholic  religion  render  them  unworthy  of  confidence  in  the  mind  of 
your  petitioners,  at  least  so  far  as  their  own  children  are  concerned. 

The  Public  School  Society  have  heretofore  denied  that  their  books  con- 
tained any  thing  reasonably  objectionable  to  Catholics.  Proofs  of  the  con- 
trary could  be  multiplied,  but  it  is  unnecessary,  as  they  have  recently  retracted 
their  denial,  and  discovered,  after  fifteen  years'  enjoyment  of  their  monopoly, 
that  their  books  do  contain  objectionable  passages.  But  they  allege  tliat  they 
have  proffered  repeatedly  to  make  such  corrections  as  the  Catholic  Clergy 
might  require.  Your  petitioners  conceive  that  such  a  proposal  could  not  be 
carried  into  effect  by  the  Public  School  Society  without  giving  just  ground 
for  exception  to  other  denominations.  Neither  can  they  see  with  what  con- 
sistency that  Society  can  insist,  as  it  has  done,  on  the  perpetuation  of  its 
monopoly,  when  the  Trustees  thus  avow  their  incompetency  to  present  unex- 
ceptionable books,  without  the  aid  of  the  Catholic,  or  any  other  Clergy. 
They  allege,  indeed,  that  with  the  best  intentions  they  have  been  unable  to 
ascertain  the  passages  which  might  be  offensive  to  Catholics.  "With  their 
intentions,  your  petitioners  cannot  enter  into  any  question.  Nevertheless, 
they  submit  to  your  Honorable  Body,  that  this  Society  is  eminently  inoom- 


petent  to  the  superintendence  of  public  education,  if  tliey  could  not  see  tliat 
the  following  passage  was  unfit  for  the  public  schools,  and  especially  unfit  to 
be  jilaoed  in  the  hands  of  Catholic  children. 

Tliey  will  quote  the  passage  as  one  instance,  taken  from  Putnam's  Sequel, 
p;ige  266 : 

"  Huss,  John,  a  zealous  reformer  from  Popery,  who  lived  in  Bohemia, 
t Hoards  the  close  of  the  fourteentk,  and  heginning  of  the  fifteenth  centuries. 
He  was  hold  and  persevering ;  hut  at  length,  trusting  himself  to  the  deceitful 
Cathulie^.  he  was  hy  them  hrought  to  trial,  condemned  as  a  heretic,  and  hurnt 
at  the  sUil-e.'''' 

The  Public  School  Society  may  be  excused  for  not  knowing  the  histori- 
cal inaccuracies  of  this  passage ;  but  surely  assistance  of  the  Catholic 
Clergy  could  not  have  been  necessary  to  an  understanding  of  the  words 
"  deceitful,"  as  applied  to  all  who  profess  the  religion  of  your  petitioners. 

For  these  reasons,  and  others  of  the  same  kind,  your  petitioners  cannot, 
in  conscience,  and  consistently  with  their  sense  of  duty  to  God,  and  to 
their  offspring,  intrust  the  Public  School  Society  with  the  oiHce  of  giving 
'■  aright  direction  to  the  minds  of  their  children."  And  yet  this  Society 
claims  that  office,  and  claims  for  the  discharge  of  it  the  Common  School 
Funds,  to  which  your  petitioners,  in  common  with  other  citizens,  are  con- 
tributors. In  so  far  as  they  are  contributors,  they  are  not  only  deprived 
of  any  benefit  in  return,  but  their  money  is'  employed  to  the  damage  and 
detriment  of  their  religion,  in  the  minds  of  their  own  children,  and  of 
the  rising  generation  of  the  community  at  large.  The  contest  is  between 
the  guarantied  rights,  civil  and  religious,  of  the  citizen  on  the  one  hand, 
and  the  pretensions  of  the  Public  School  Society  on  the  other  ;  and  whilst 
it  has  been  silently  going  o^  for  years,  your  petitioners  would  call  the 
attention  of  your  Honorable  Body  to  its  consequences  on  that  class  for 
whom  the  benefits  of  public  education  are  most  essential — the  children  of 
the  poor. 

This  class  (your  petitioners  speak  only  so  far  as  relates  to  their  own 
denomination),  after  a  brief  experience  of  the  schools  of  the  Public  School 
Society,  naturally  and  deservedly  withdrew  all  confidence  from  it.  Hence 
the  establishment  by  your  petitioners  of  schools  for  the  education  of  the 
poor.  The  expense  necessary  for  this,  was  a  second  taxation,  required  not 
by  the  laws  of  the  land,  but  by  the  no  less  imperious  demands  of  their 

They  were  reduced  to  the  alternative  of  seeing  their  children  growing 
up  in  entire  ignorance,  or  else  taxing  themselves  anew  for  private  schools, 
whilst  the  funds  provided  for  education,  and  contributed  in  part  by  them- 
selves, were  given  over  to  the  Public  School  Society,  and  by  them  employed 
as  has  been  stated  above. 

Now  your  petitioners  respectfully  submit,  that  without  this  confidence, 
no  body  of  men  can  discharge  the  duties  of  education  as  intended  by  the 
State,  and  required  by  the  people.  The  Public  School  Society  are,  ind 
have  been  at  all  times,  conscious  that  they  had  not  the  confidence  of  the 
poor.  In  their  twenty-eighth  report,  they  appeal  to  the  ladies  of  New 
York  to  create  or  procure  it,  by  the  "  persuasive  eloquence  of  female 
kindness ;"  page  5.  And  from  this  they  pass,  on  the  next  page,  to  the 
more  efficient  eloquence  of  coercion  under  penalties  and  privations  to  be 
visited  on  all  persons,  "  whether  emigrants  or  otherwise,"  who  being  in  the 
circumstances  of  poverty  referred  to,  should  not  send  their  children  to 
some  "  public  or  other  daily  school."  In  their  twenty- seventh  report, 
pages  15  and  16,  they  plead  for  the  doctrine,  and  recommend  it  to  public 
tavor  by  the  circumstance  that  it  will  affect  but  "  few  natives."  But  why 
should  it  be  necessary  at  all,  if  they  possessed  that  confidence  of  the  poor, 


without  which  they  need  never  hope  to  succeed  ?  So  well  are  they  cori 
vinced  of  this,  that  no  longer  ago  than  last  year,  they  gave  up  all  hope  ot 
inspiring  it,  and  loudly  call  for  coercion  by  "  the  strong  arm  of  tlie  cml 
power  "  to  supply  its  deficiency.  Your  petitioners  will  close  this  part  ot 
their  statement  with  the  expression  of  their  surprise  and  regret  that  gen- 
tlemen who  are  themselves  indebted  much  to  the  respect  which  is  properly 
cherished  for  the  rights  of  conscience,  shonld  be  so  unmindful  of  the  same 
rigiits  in  the  case  of  your  petitioners.  Many  of  them  are  by  religious 
principle  so  pacific  that  they  would  not  take  up  arms  in  the  defence  of 
the  liberties  of  their  country,  though  she  should  call  them  to  her  aid  ;  and 
yet,  they  do  not  hesitate  to  invoke  the  "strong  arm  of  the  civil  power" 
for  the  purpose  of  abridging  the  private  liberties  of  their  fellow-citizens, 
who  may  feel  equally  conscientious. 

Your  petitioners  have  to  deplore,  as  a  consequence  of  this  state  of 
things,  the  ignoi-ance  and  vice  to  which  hundreds,  nay  thousands  of  their 
children  are  exposed.  They  have  to  regret,  alsQ,  that  the  education  which 
they  can  provide,  under  the  disadvantages  to  which  they  have  been  sub- 
jected, is  not  as  efficient  as  it  should  be.  But  should  your  Honorable 
Body  be  pleased  to  designate  their  schools  as  entitled  to  receive  a  just 
proportion  of  the  public  funds  which  belong  to  your  petitioners  in  common 
with  other  citizens,  their  schools  could  be  improved  for  those  who  attend, 
others  now  growing  up  in  ignorance  could  be  received,  and  the  ends  of  the 
Legislature  could  be  accomplished — a  result  which  is  manifestly  hopeless 
under  the  present  system. 

Your  petitioners  will  now  invite  the  attention  of  your  Honorable  Body 
to  the  objections  and  misrepresentations  that  have  been  urged  by  the  Pub- 
lic School  Society  to  granting  the  claim  of  your  petitioners.  It  is  urged 
by  them  that  it  would  be  appropriating  money  raised  by  general  taxation 
to  the  support  of  the  Catholic  religion.  Your  petitioners  join  issue  with 
them,  and  declare  unhesitatingly,  that  if  this  objection  can  be  established 
the  claim  shall  be  forthwith  abandoned.  It  is  objected  that  though  we 
are  taxed  as  citizens,  we  apply  for  the  benefits  of  education  as  "  Catholics." 
Your  petitioners,  to  remove  this  difBculty,  beg  to  be  considered  in  their 
application  in  the  identical  capacity  in  which  they  are  taxed — ^viz.  :  as  citi- 
zens of  the  commonwealth.  It  has  been  contended  by  the  Public  School 
Society,  that  the  law  disqualifies  schools  which  admit  any  profession  of. 
religion,  from  receiving  any  encouragements  from  the  School  Fund.  'Your 
petitioners  have  two  solutions  for  this  pretended  difficulty.  1.  Your  peti- 
tioners are  unable  to  discover  any  such  disqualification  in  the  law,  which 
merely  delegates  to  your  Honorable  Body  the  authority  and  discretion  of 
determining  what  schools  or  societies  shall  be  entitled  to  its  bounty. 
2.  Your  petitioners  are  willing  to  fulfill  the  conditions  of  the  law  so  far  as 
religious  teaching  is  proscribed  during  school  hours.  In  fine,  your  petition- 
ers, to  remove  all  objections,  are  willing  that  the  material  organization  of 
their  schools,  and  the  disbursements  of  the  funds  allowed  for  them,  shall 
be  conducted,  and  made,  by  persons  unconnected  with  the  religion  of 
your  petitioners,  even  the  Public  School  Society,  if  it  should  please  your 
Honorable  Body  to  appoint  them  for  that  purpose.  The  public  may  then 
be  assured  that  the  money  will  not  be  applied  to  the  support  of  the  Catho- 
lic religion. 

It  is  deemed  necessary  by  your  petitioners  to  save  the  Public  School  So- 
ciety the  necessity  of  future  misconception,  thus  to  state  the  things  wliioh 
are  not  petitioned  for.  Tlie  members  of  that  Society,  who  have  shown 
themselves  so  impressed  with  the  importance  of  conveying  tlieir  notions  of 
"  early  religious  instruction  "  to  the  "  susceptible  minds  "  of  CathoHc  children, 
can  have  no  objection  that  the  parents  of  the  children,  and  teachers  in  whom 


the  parents  have  confidence,  should  do  the  same,  provided  no  law  is  violated 
thereby,  and  no  disposition  evinced  to  bring  the  children  of  other  denomi- 
nations within  its  influence. 

Your  petitioners,  therefore,  pray  that  your  Honorable  Body  will  be  pleased 
to  designate,  as  among  the  schools  entitled  to  participate  in^  the  Common 
School  Fund,  upon  complying  with  the  requirements  of  the  law,  and  the 
ordinances  of  the  corporation  of  the  city — or  for  such  other  relief  as  to  your 
Honorable  Body  shall  seem  meet — St  Patrick's  School,  St.  Peter's  School, 
St.  Mary's  School,  St.  Joseph's  School,  St.  James'  School,  St.  Nicholas' 
School,  Transfiguration  Church  School,  and  St.  John's  School. 

And  your  petitioners  further  request,  in  the  event  of  your  Honorable  Body's 
determining  to  hear  your  petitioners,  on  the  subject  of  their  petition, that  such 
time  may  be  appointed  as  may  be  most  agreeable  to  your  Honoraljle  Body, 
and  that  a  full  session  of  your  Honorable  Board  be  convened  for  that  purpose. 

And  your  petitioners,  &c. 



Vice-  C/iairmen. 


James  Kelly,      J-  Secretaries. 
J.  M'LoroHLiN, 

Of  a  general  meeting  of  the 
Catholics  of  the  City  of  New 
York,  convened  in  the  school- 
room of  St.  James'  Church, 
Sept.  21,  1840. 


Meeting  in  the  Basement  of  St.  James's  Church, 
October  5th,  1840. 

On  Monday  evening,  Oct.  5th,  the  Catholics  orthis  city  again 
met  in  the  basement  of  St.  James's  Church,  in  great  numbers,  by 
adjournment  of  the  meeting  of  that  day  fortnight,  from  -nrhich  a 
memorial  had  been  sent  to  the  Board  of  Aldermen,  setting  forth  their 
claim  to  a  portion  of  the  Common  School  Fund  for  the  education 
of  Catholic  children.  Thomas  O'Connor,  Esq.,  was  again  called 
to  the  chair,  and  the  Secretaries  were  also  re-elected. 


Jasees  McKeon,  Esq.,  one  of  the  committee  appointed  to  present 
the  memorial  to  the  Common  Council,  reported  that  they  had  dis- 
charged the  duties  assigned  to  them,  and  that  it  was  highly  probable 
that  an  early  day' ■\\ould  be  fixed  to  hear  the  arguments  of  the 
Catholics  and  those  that  opposed  their  claim. 

The  Right  Rev.  Bishop  Hughes  then  presented  himself  and  was 
received  with  enthusiastic  plaudits.  He  said  the  question  was  now 
in  the  hands  of  those  whom  the  Legislature  had  appointed  to  dis- 
pose of  the  Common  School  Fund ;  they  had  presented  their  claim 
to  that  body  with  confidence,  but  it  was  not  to  be  supposed  that 
their  demand  would  be  granted  without  opposition ;  it  was  not  cer- 
tain they  would  be  conceded  at  all.  Nevertheless  they  had  taken 
the  only  means  worthy  of  their  purpose,  by  applying  with  confi- 
dence and  with  firmness  and  with  determination  to  those  having  in  . 
the  first  instance  the  power  to  apply  a  remedy  to  the  evil  of  which 
Catholics  complain.  The  question  as  it  will  define  itself  before  that 
Board,  when  stripped  of  all  the  mystification  in  which  their  oppo- 
nents had  enveloped  it,  was  an  exceedingly  simple  one.  It  will  be 
a  question  whether  it  was  the  intention  of  the  Legislature  of  the 
State  of  New  York  to  fix  on  the  population  of  this  city,  and  to  sup- 
port by  taxation  reaching  to  every  citizen,  a  system  of  education 
from  which  one-fifth  of  the  population  can  derive  no  benefit?  for  he 
thought  he  might  say  that  Catholic  children  formed  one-fifth  of  those 
who  were  subject  to  this  taxation.  And  if  this  system  is  to  be  so 
constituted,  as  they  found  it  to  be,  that  Catholics  iu  their  con- 
sciences cannot  allow  their  children  to  participate  in  its  benefits, 
then  the  question  will  be  were  they  excluded  or  not,  by  an  act  of 
the  Legislature  ?  It  is  plain  they  wexe  not,  unless  indeed  the  Legis- 
lature intended  that  they  should  p.iy  for  education  and  receive  no 
benefit  in  return.  Thai  the  Legislature  did  not  intend — that  it  could 
not  have  intended  ;  and  there^re  between  the  act  of  the  Legislature 
and  the  schoolmaster  there  must  be  some  inquiry  to  pervert  the 
stream  of  justice.  [Applause.]  The  objections  that  have  been  raised 
by  the  Public  School  Society  are  objections  which  sound  alarmingly, 
in  the  eaf,  and  which  from  circumstances  which  are  easily  accounted 
for,  are  apt  to  turn  the  judguients  of  even  well-disposed  men  off 
their  equilibrium— he  alluded  to  the  clamor  of  sectarianism,  and  that 
Catholics  wish  Sivil  money  to  be  appropriated  to  the  jmrposes  of 
religion.  _  The  sound  was  calculated  to  alarm,  but  it  required  only 
the  exercise  of  common  sense  to  dissolve  these  objections  into  thin 
air,  for  Catholics  wanted  no  money  from  the  State  of  New  York  for 
purposes  of  religion,  but  for  the  purpose  for  which  it  was  claimed 
from  them — for  the  purposes  of  education  in  the  strict  sense  of  the 
term.  The  education  the  Catholics  were  told  was  ready — the  foun- 
tain flows  constantly,  but  care  was  taken  to  dilute  the  current  before 
it  reached  them,  so  that  they  could  not  taste  it.     [Applause.] 


They  were  told  the  doors  were  open  to  them ;  they  knew  they 
were,  but  if  they  entered  they  Avent  in  to  learn  to  live  in  ignorance 
of  all  that  was  sacred  and  honorable  in  the  Catholic  name  ;  if  they 
entered  they  knew  it  was  to  have  Protestant  persons  and  Protestant 
writers  brought  up  for  their  admiration  ;  it  was  to  make  their  chil- 
dren familiar  with  things  that  were  not  theirs,  -and  to  leave  them  in 
utter  ignorance  of  everything  Catholic,  unless  it  was  to  bring  them 
in  to  grace  some  tragic  incident  and  they  were  only  brought  in  then 
as  executioners.  There  were  some  respectable  Catholic  writers, 
though  perhaps  their  opponents  knew  it  not,  that  Avrote  with  flow- 
ing pens  in  the  departments  of  history,  morals,  legislation,  and  gen- 
eral literature,  but  from  the  books  put  into  the  hands  of  their  chil- 
dren in  these  schools  they  knew  it  not,"  but  they  did  know  about 
Cranmer's  execution,  and  the  betrayal  by  the  deceitful  Catholics  of 
John  Huss ;  and  if  it  were  not  for  the  purpose  of  bringing  them  in 
thus,  their  children  would  not  know  that  Catholicism  was  older  than 
Mormonism.  [Laughter.]  He  had  been  exceedingly  amused  on 
looking  at  the  manner  the  opponents  of  their  claim  maintained  their 
exclusive  right  to  the  money  which  Catholics  contributed  in  common 
with  other  citizens ;  but  with  a  great  deal  of  talent  and  a  great  deal 
of  confidence  in  the  prejudices  of  the  community,  to  Avhich  they  ap- 
pealed, still  it  was  difficult  for  them  to  make  out  a  clear  case,  even 
to  satisfy  those  prejudices.     He  would  look  at  the  system  as  it  is. 

They  were  told  that  the  state  intended  to  exclude  religion  and 
make  the  fund  applicable  solely  to  civil  purposes — solely  to  secular 
education — very  well.  If  they  excluded  all  religion  then  they  bring 
up  the  children  like  heathens,  and  they  banish  Christianity  and  leave 
to  infidelity  the  whole  benefit  of  this  system  of  education.  And  he 
did  not  think  it  probable  that  the  Christians  of  New  York — that  the 
Protestants  of  New  York — would  raise  a  fund  for  education  from 
which  only  infidelity  could  receive  the  benefit.  That  was  one 
ground.  But  then  they  were  told  again  that  religion  was  not  ex- 
cluded from  instruction.  If  they  then  have  taught  religion  how 
have  they  been  able  to  go  before  the  Common  Council  and  ask  for 
money?  Had  Catholics  less  right  than  the  celebrated  body  of 
Quakers  ?  And  if  the  office  of  instructors  was  to  be  conceded  at  all 
to  whom  did  it  belong  ?  Did  it  become  Catholics  to  be  the  instruc- 
tors of  Protestant  children,  or  Protestants  to  become  the  instructors 
of  Catholic  children  ?  Surely  if  it  was  a  crime  ^t  all  it  must  be  a 
greater  crime  in  the  managers  of  the  present  schools  than  in  Catho- 
lics to  teach  religion  to  Catholic  children ;  and  it  was  only  in  this 
way  that  they  could  throw  the  whole  weight  of  the  charge  of  giv- 
ing instruction  on  infidels,  so  that  it  carried  water  on  both  shoul- 
ders. Before  the  Common  Council  their  opponents  were  scrupulous 
to  a  nicety,  from  a  fear  that  its  money  should  go  to  encourage  and 
maintain  religion;  but  they  (the  Catholics)  went  in  the  name  of 
relio-ion  and  conscience  which  did  not  allow  them  to  educate  their 
children  in  these  schools ;  and  because  they  went  in  the  name  of 
conscience  they  were  told,  Oh,  the  fund  is  intended  for  civil  educa- 


tion,  and  if  you  allow  a  penny  to  go  for  the  support  of  religion,  yott 
violate  the  charter,  for  it  says  so  and  so.  Then  we  (Catholics) 
charge  them  with  infidelity.  And  how  do  they  answer  ?  They  say 
Catholics  give  religious  instruction.  Do  they  (the  Trustees  of  the 
Public  Schools)  not  admit  that  they  do  likewise  m  their  report  ? 
And  that  shows  that  they  are  aware  of  the  importance  of  early  re- 
ligious instruction ;  but  they  say  that  none  but  what  is  general  in 
its  character  is  given  under  their  charge  ;  so  that  while  the  doctors 
are  disputing  about  what  is  religion,  the  managers  of  these  schools 
have  no  difficulty  in  determining  at  once.  It  is  a  pity  the  commu- 
nity does  not  send  its  difficulties  to  the  Public  School  Society  for 
they  can  soon  decide  what  religion  is.  Does  not  each  sect  contend 
that  its  doctrines  are  purely  Scriptural  ?  And  do  not  the  others 
dispute  it?  But  here  the  Trustees  of  the  Public  School  Society  de- 
cide for  them  at  once ;  and  while  they  contend,  and  contend  truly, 
that  the  State  has  provided  that  none  of  this  money  should  go  for 
the  purposes  of  religion,  they  have  a  religion  of  their  own  made  up, 
as  they  say,  from  what  is  Scriptura^  When  Catholics  go  before 
Council  and  ask  for  their  proportion  of  this  fund,  "  Oh,"  says  the 
School  Society,  "it  is  provided  only  for  secular  education."  But  is 
that  their  own  practice  ?  They  have  one  reply  for  Catholics  and 
another  for  Protestants ;  they  have  piety  enough  not  to  wish  infi- 
delity to  ha^e  the  predominance,  and  to  please  the  Protestants  they 
introduce  religion— Scriptural  religion  as  they  call  it — and  when 
Catholics  find  fault  with  them  and  wish  to  teach  their  own  children, 
they  say  that  the  introduction  of  religion  into  the  schools  will  forfeit 
all  right  to  it,  for  it  was  not  intended  or  designed  for  religious  pur- 
poses. In  their  report  and  remonstrance  to  the  petition  of  Catho- 
lics they  say,  "  this  fund  is  purely  of  a  civil  character."  If  so  it 
means  that  it  is  intended  to  teach  children  to  read,  and  write,  and 
the  mathematics  ;  and  there  is  not  much  religion  in  these  sciences : 
but  they  are  not  so  careful  to  abstain  from  rehgion,  for  religion  is 
religious  instruction,  and  that  they  give  in  their  own  way  and  thus, 
in  the  expenditure  of  this  money,  which  is  appropriated  to  civil 
instruction,  they  contradict  themselves  ;  and  we  shall  see  how  they 
get  out  of  the  contradiction. 

They  knew  they  had  done  this  from  the  cpmmencement,  and  the 
first  sound  of  alarm  came  from  themsehes.  They  said,  "  Oh,  there 
is  so  much  prejudice  in  the  community !"  and  if  Catholics  were 
timid,  they  might  be  crushed  down  by  that  fear.  But  if  there  was 
prejudice,  let  its  abutments  be  taken  away,  so  that  nothing  but 
truth  would  remain  ;  and  if,  \vla\\e  their  claim  was  based  on  truth, 
knowing  the  wrong,  it  was  still  inflicted,  let  it  be  on  the  record, 
that  the  world  might  know  that  Catholics  were  oppressed  without 
any  ground  of  oppression.  [Applause.]  He  said  this  because  the 
gentlemen  were  going  from  one  point  to  another  in  their  statements 
from  time  to  time  of  what  was  the  true  ground  on  which  the  right 
of  the  citizen  was  based.  There  is  in  this  country  the  principle 
that  no  man  should  suffer  for  the  free  exercise  of  his  freedom  of 


conscience  ;  that  no  man  should  suffer,  in  his  person  or  in  his  repu- 
tation, though  the  liw  cannot  arrest  the  pen  of  the  bigotted  slan- 
derer, yet  that  is  the  spirit  of  the  law  that  no  man  shall  be  tempo- 
rarily held  accountable  for  those  things  which  relate  to  his  eternal 
destiny,  for  they  were  things  between  man  and  his  God,  and  there- 
fore the  rights  of  conscience  were  sacred  and  inviolate.  Bat  if  that 
were  the  case,  how  can  it  be  insisted  on  that  Catholics  shall  violate 
their  rights  of  conscience  at  the  risk  of  eternal  consequences  ?  How 
could  it  be  pretended  that  Catholics  could  submit  to  a  system  about 
which  they  were  not  consulted  ?  And  how  was  it  that  the  support- 
ers of  the  existing  system  could  insist  that  Catholics  were  wrong, 
and  that  they  were  right  ?  Now,  since  conscience  cannot  be  bent 
or  modified  to  suit  the  system.  Catholics  hoped  to  cause  such  a 
modification  of  the  system  that  it  would  suit  the  consciences  of  all. 
[Applause.]  That  was  the  ground  on  which  Catholics  stood.  But 
they  were  told  that  Catholics  held  it  to  be  an  essential  part  of  edu- 
cation that  the  Catholic  religion  and  dogmas  should  be  taught. 
They  knew  that  schools  were  supported  by  the  State- for  the  pur- 
pose of  imparting  that  part  of  secular  knowledge  that  would  be  ad- 
vantageous. But  they  did  not  believe  it  was  designed  by  the  State 
to  establish  a  system  of  teaching  by  which  all  that  was  good  would 
be  extinguished  in  the  process.  They  did  not  desire  the  public 
money  to  be  expended  in  the  teaching  of  their  dogmas,  but  they 
also  did  not  wish  to  see  it  expended  in  th6  support  of  a  system  by 
which  the  bud  of  faith  would  be  nipped  which  was  springing  up  in 
the  hearts  of  Catholic  children.  But  then  they  were  told  that  Cath- 
olics might  teach  their  children  after  school  hours,  and  on  the  sev- 
enth day.  But,  after  six  days'  teaching  in  these  schools,  every  one 
must  be  well  aware  how  feeble  will  be  the  impressions  of  religion ; 
how  feeble  will  be  the  instructions  of  the  pastor  to  a  child  that  has 
imbibed  the  prejudices  which  the  lessons  of  the  school  were  calcu- 
lated to  create ;  how  feeble  would  be  the  admonition ;  how  feeble 
the  inculcation  of  the  dogmas  of  their  faith,  when  the  child  was 
already  biased  against  it  by  the  lessons  he  was  taught,  by  the  asso- 
ciations to  which  he  was  exposed,  and  by  the  lectures  of  the 
teachers  on  the  elucidation  of  the  school  lessons.  Why,  the  child 
■would  be  found  to  be  half  a  Protestant  before  he  was  half  a 

But  then  they  were  told  that  if  this  money  were  given  to  Cath- 
olics, every  other  denomination  would  look  for  it  too.  And  if  they 
did,  he  did  not  see  that  any  great  harm  would  result  from  it.  If 
any  other  denomination  had  the  same  scruples  of  conscience,  he 
should  say  immediately  they  were  entitled  to  it ;  but  it  did  not  ap- 
pear that  they  had.  They  had  proof  in  the  remonstrances  that  were 
sent  in  against  the  claim  made  by  the  Catholics,  that  they  approved 
of  the  present  school  system.  They  were  satisfied  with  the  system, 
and  their  scholars  were  attending  under  it,  while  the  children  of 
Catholics  did  not  attend  ;  so  that,  by  conceding  the  claim  of  the 
Catholics,  they,  would  have  the  same  schools  as  before,  with  this 


difference,  that  the  children  of  Catholics  that  were  no-pr  without 
education,  or  but  partially  educated,  would  have  a  chance,  and  the 
ends  of  the  Legislature  would  be  carried  out.  But  suppose  it 
would  have  the  effect  of  breaking  up  the  system,  he  did,  not  think 
any  great  calamity  would  be  produced  by  such  a  result,  or  any 
great  suffering  or  disaster  to  the  country  or  to  the  community.  But 
the  evils  had  been  magnified,  and  in  the  pamphlet  which  had  been 
published  they  had  spoken  of  the  bickerings  that  would  be  pursued 
^and  they  knew  what  they  had  been  in  other  countries — that  it 
Avould  lead  to  contention  and  strife,  and  civil  war  and  bloodshed. 
Well,  but  this  fund  was  once  divided,  and  there  were  no  such  con- 
sequences. It  should  be  a  part  of  education  in  America,  that  men 
should  know  the  rights  of  conscience  of  others,  and  that  they  should 
learn  to  respect  them.  But  when  they  gather  children  of  all  de- 
nominations together  into  these  Common  Schools,  and  under  pre- 
tence that  if  they  are  not  so  taught,  they  are  liable  to  fight  in 
the  street  Avhen  they  meet,  they  lay  down  a  principle  different  from 
that  inculcated  as  a  par.t  of  the  system.  If  they  are  taught  tolei'^a- 
tion — if  they  are  taught  that  all  men  are  not  born  to  think  alike — 
that  there  are  thousands  of  subjects  on  which  they  may  differ,  and 
that  religion  is  one  on  which  they  are  not  only  at  liberty,  but  are 
justified  and  above  all  censure  in  fulfilling  the  dictates  of  their  con- 
sciences, then  they  grow  up  with  a  spirit  of  tolerance  to  others  with 
whom,  when  they  are  men,  they  have  to  mingle,  and  who  differ  -in 
opinion  from  them.  But  when  these  principles  of  the  schools  are 
insisted  upon,  is  it  not  in  fact  proclaiming  to  their  children,  "  Be- 
ware of  religion,  or  you  will  all  get  to  quarrelling  " — [laughter] — it 
is  not  to  be  introduced,  or  you  will  get  to  civil  war  a-nd  bloodshed, 
as  they  did  in  Germany  when  they  got  into  a  thirty  years'  war  1 
But  thus  it  was  with  the  public  School  Society  ;  they  had  not  one 
solid  ground  to  take  against  the  claim  which  the  Catholics  made. 
But,  to  avoid  any  difficulty,  the  Catholics  said,  Give  us  our  books 
and  teachefs  in  whom  we  have  confidence,  and  let  the  School 
Society  itself  be  the  guardian  of  our  schools,  and  see  that  the  money 
be  faithfully  appropriated,  and  such  instruction  given  as  would 
qualify  the  children  to  be  good  citizens  ;  and  then,  when  their  minds 
and  their  intellects  were  stored  and  trained,  and  knowing  their  duty 
to  God  and  to  their  fellow-men,  then  it  was  they  would  have  the 
prospect  of  their  children  being  good,  and  virtuous,  and  respect- 
able citizens.  So  that,  putting  aside  all  these  difficulties,  the 
question  would  present  itself  naturally  and  necessarily  before  the 
Common  Council  and  simply  on  these  grounds:  Were  Catho- 
lics, against  their  convictions,  to  be  compelled  to  support  and  sub- 
mit to  a  system  which  suited  those  gentlemen  (the  School  Society), 
who  were  not  Catholics,  and  who  had  scarcely  a  feeling  on  this  par- 
ticular subject  in  conimon  with  Catholics  ?  Were  they  to  insist 
upon  Catholics  paying  a  tax  from  which,  in  the  exercise  of  the 
guaranteed  rights  of  conscience,  they  could  receive  no  benefit  ?  Or 
were  they  prepared  to  relieve  Catholics  from  the  tax  ?     Or  in  a 


word,  if  they  will  compel  Catholics  to  pay  the  tax,  seeing  the  diffi- 
culties that  exist,  will  they  give  to  Catholics  their  proportion  of  the 
money  which  the  Legislature  has  set  apart  for  that  purpose  ?     The 
question  r^^uces  itself  to  these  simple  jjoints :  Free  Catholics  from 
taxation  for  schools  of  any  description,  and  they  would  stand  ready 
vith  the  money  thus  saved  to  help  their  own  schools,  and  to  devote 
it  to  education  amongst  themselves.     But  if  not,  and  it  would  be 
impracticable,  for  no  denomination  could  be  exempted  from  a  gen- 
eral taxation.     In  the  next  place,  would  they  allow  Catholics  to 
have  the  benefit  of  education,  without  the   necessity  of  violating 
their  consciences  ;  and  if  they  would  not,  then  there  was  no  alterna- 
tive ;  they  were  Catholics,  and  it  was  a  pity  that  their  consciences 
would  not  allow  them  to  enjoy  the  system  which  suited  others ;  but 
they  were  Catholics,  and  their  consciences  were  not  to  be  respected. 
It  would  be  impossible,  on  any  other  ground,  to  tteny  their  rights. 
It  might  not  be  couched  in  that  language,  but  it  would  be  that  in 
substance :  it  could  not  be  otherwise.     Catholics  were  anxious  for 
education;  and  while  the  managers  of  these  schools  pretend  that 
they  will  give  the  education,  what  is  the  fact  ?     It  is  obvious,  be- 
fore their  eyes,  that  where  schools  are  open,  and  teachers  are  ready, 
and  money  is  expended,  there  are  hundreds  and  thousands  growing 
up  in  the  condition  which  the  Legislature  wished  to  remove.     If 
they  are  willing  to  educate  Catholic  children,  why  not  show  their 
willingness  ?     If  they  were  animated  by  a  ijatriotic  spirit,  would 
they  not  yield  a  little  to  what  they  call  the  prejudices  of  Catholics, 
but  which  Catholics  know  to  be  right,  to  be  the  love  of  truth? 
But  those  men  would  rather  leave  hundreds  and  thousands  in  per- 
manent ignorance,  than  that  one  tile  should  be  removed  from  those 
palaces  which  they  have  built  for  their  o\\-n  children.     That  was  the 
condition  of  the  question  at  this  time.     What  would  be  the  decision 
of  the  tribunal  before  which  it  had  to  be  discussed  and  decided 
they  knew  not.     They  had  reason  to  hope  that  it  would  be  a  just 
one,  a  conscientious  one,  and  a  liberal  one;  bnt  at  the  same  time  no 
explanation,  no  pleading,  no  specious  exertions  on  the  subject  could 
ever  reconcile  them  to  a  system  which  had  done  so  much  to  destroy 
their  enjoyment  of  their  religious  rights  as  this  has  done.    It  was  in 
vain  to  say  "  amend  the  books  ;"  for  if  they  were  permitted  to  do  it 
this  year  by  courtesy,  next  year  there  might  be  put  in  a  set  of  cor- 
porators that  would  put  in  again  what  they  now  took  out.     What 
was  courtesy?     Why,  they  (the  Catholics)  might  sit  in  judgment 
on  the  books,  and  perhaps,  when  they  had  corrected  them,  their 
corrections  might  be  again  corrected,  and  the  books  left  as  they 
were  before.     What  security,  then  could  be  given  to  Catholics  for 
the  enjoyment  of  their  rights  ?     And  while  their  rights  were  denied 
on  grounds  on  which  CathoHcs  did  not  pretend  to  establish  them ; 
while  it  was  pretended  before  the  Council  that  Catholics  would 
teach  religion,  and  therefore  were  disqualified,  they  did  that  them- 
selves which  they  said  they  expected  Catholics  would  do,  and  for 
which  they  opposed  the  Catholic  claim.     They  have  introduced 


religion,  and  it  was  impossible  they  could  escape  from  the  position 
of  adopting  a  cold  water  religion  in  theory,  and  yet  in  practice  incul- 
cating a  religion  to  suit  their  own  ideas  in  these  schools.  As  well 
and  as  lawfully  might  they  adopt  a  system  of  education  supported 
by  the  State,  which  should  recognize  the  system  of  any  one  denom- 
ination, and  disavow  all  other  denominations.  They  told  Catholics 
they  did  not  teach  any  particular  religion ;  then  they  had  better 
teach  none  at  all,  for  any  religion  they  could  teach  was  far  opposed 
to  that  of  Catholics,  who  did  not  recognize  them  as  men  fit  to  go 
into  the  pulpit  and  teach  their  children.  Let  them  teach  those  by 
whom  they  were  recognized  as  teachers,  but  not  the  children  of 
Catholics.  He  had  made  these  remarks,  as  it  were,  as  a  kind  of 
brief  review  of  the  whole  ground  on  which  the  question  stood,  so 
that  it  might  remain  fixed  on  the  mind  of  every  one  of  them  as  a 
simple  point.  The  Catholics  asked  for  nothing  but  what  was  their 
right,  and  what  was- just ;  and  if  there  was  any  other  lightby  which 
it  could  be  shown  that  their  claim  was  unjust  and  not  right,  they 
should  have  no  disposition  to  prosecute  it.  But  in  the  absence  of 
such  conviction,  they  could  not  but  feel,  if  their  right  was  still 
withheld  from  them,  that  it  could  be  but  for  one  reason,  and  that 
was,  that  Protestant  prejudice  was  more  powerful  than  truth  and 
justice.  [Applause.]  But  he  feared  not  the  issue.  The  question 
had  made  great  progress  since  it  w&s  elucidated  by  their  public  dis- 
cussions, and  now  scarcely  a  man  that  he  had  spoken  to,  that  was 
competent  to  judge  on  the  subject,  that  did  not  say,  "  Sir,  you  are 
right ;  there  can  be  no  objection  to  the  concession  of  your  claim." 
But  he  knew  there  was  in  the  less  intellectual  portion  of  the  com- 
munity a  substratum  of  prejudice.  He  was  aware,  however,  that 
this  was  not  the  case  among  the  enlightened  and  the  liberal — among 
men  of  high,  and  just,  and  enlarged,  and  patriotic  views — and  it 
was  from  these  that  public  opinion  was  alone  worth  accepting. 
[Great  and  long-continued  applause.] 

Meeting  in  the  Basement  of  St.  James's  Church, 
October  19th,  1840. 

An  adjourned  meeting  of  the  Catholics  was  held  in  the  basement 
of  St.  James's  Church  on  Monday  evening,  Oct.  19th,  when  the 
officers  of  previous  meetings  were  re-elected.  The  Right  Rev. 
Bishop  Hughes  was  received  on  his  entrance  with  the  warmest  ex- 
pression of  affectionate  regard. 

The  Right  Rev.  Bishop  Hughes  came  forward  amidst  great  and 
general  plaudits.  He  commenced  by  observing  that  there  was  no- 
thing to  alarm  them  in  the  conclusion  at  which  some  seem  already 
to  have  arrived,  or  respecting  the  course  to  be  pursued  by  the  tri- 
bunal before  which  they  had  laid  claim.    There  was  nothino-  in  it  to 


alarm,  and  for  himself  there  was  nothing  to  surprise,  because  he  had 
obser^  ed  as  they  had  progressed  on  this  question,  and  whilst  they 
had  made  some  inroad  on  the  advanced  posts  of  pubUe  opinion,  here 
and  there,  that  the  concentrated  and  monopolizing  power  which  was 
opposed  to  them  had  been  gathering  its  strength,  and  had  been  pre- 
paring to  exert  it  to  the  utmost.  They  (the  School  Society)  feel  as 
if  the  charm  should  be  broken,  the  dazzling  prospect  on  which  their 
eye  had  rested  so  long  with  complacency,  the  prospect  of  having 
seventy  thousand  children  for  a  few  years  longer  to  be  moulded  at 
t*heir  discretion,  and  of  having  a  larger  number — even  hundreds  of 
thousands  of  dollars  for  the  purpose  of  so  moulding  them,  Avould 
disappear  from  before  them.  Such  a  dazzling  prospect  as  this  was 
enough  to  tempt  men  of  their  f)hiIanthropy  to  cling  to  the  system 
and  that  they  do  cling  to  it  they  were  assured,  for,  counting  on  that 
futurity  they  had  multiplied  schools,  and  they  had  not  only  rnulti- 
plied  schools  but  they  had  built  other  and  more  splendid  edifices — • 
he  scarcely  knew  what  to  call  them — 

Mr.  O'Connor  (chairman) — Sessions  houses. 

The  Bishop.  Yes,  sessions  houses,  for  the  purpose  of  legislating 
into  all  future  time  for  the  education  of  the  children  of  the  citizens 
of  New  York.  This  was  evidence  that  they  did  count  on  this  long 
futurity  of  domination,  and  therefore  it  was  not  surprising  that  they 
should  cling  with  such  tenacity  to  its  perpetuation. 

Now  it  had  been  his  duty  to  examine  the  books  used  in  these 
schools,  and  whatever  might  be  said  hereafter,  notwithstanding  all 
that  they  had  printed,  or  all  that  they  had  authorized  to  be  printed 
by  the  Board  of  Assistant  Aldermen,  that  there  was  nothing  in  their 
books  against  which  the  Catholics  could  have  any  reasonable  objec- 
tion, he,  in  an  examination  of  the  books  to  ascertain  whether  that 
statement  was  founded  in  truth,  had  found  many  things  against 
which  Catholics  had  reasonable  objections.  But  laying  that  aside, 
while  Catholics  formed  one-fifth  portion  of  the  citizens  whose  chil- 
dren were  to  be  l^ught  in  these  schools,  from  the  first  to  the  last 
their  books  did  not  contain  a  solitary  sentence  upon  Catholic  affairs, 
nor  one  line  from  Catholic  authors — not  one  sentence,  not  one  essay 
on  morals,  not  one  chapter  of  history,  not  one  section  of  geography, 
not  a  single  line  from  the  beginning  to  the  end,  as  if  CathoUcs  from 
the  beginning  of  creation  had  been  men  who  had  not  known  how  to 
wield  the  pen,  or  to  arrange  ideas  in  a  proper  manner.  And  not 
only  was  this  the  fact,  not  only  was  there  this  suppression — for  he 
might  call  it  the  suppression  of  the  truth — and  it  was  the  suppression 
of  the  brightest  trait  in  their  character,  which  would  affect  the  mind 
of  their  children,  attach  them  to  the  creed  of  their  fathefs,  and  make 
them  not  ashamed  of  a  creed  which  had  produced  some  of  the 
brightest  ornaments  that  ever  did  honor  to  human  nature ;  indepen- 
dent of  that  science,  he  had  in  his  hand  a  dialogue  used  in  these 
schools  for  the  purpose  of  teaching  their  children  to  read,  and  to 
practice  them  in  elocution.  It  was  a  dialogue  between  Cortez  the 
conqueror  of  Mexico,  and  William  Penn.  both  founders  of  colonies^ 


on  the  use  of  the  sword,  and  the  more  honorable  means  of  defence 
for  the  colonies.  They  discuss  the  principles  on  which  the  colonies 
were  established,  and  then  Coetbz  says : 

"  It  is  blasphemy  to  say,  that  any  folly  could  come  from  the  fountain  of  wisdom. 
Whatever  is  inconsistent  with  the  great  laws  of  nature,  and  with  the  necessary 
state  of  human  society,  cannot  possibly  have  been  inspired  by  God.  Self-defence 
is  as  necessary  to  nations  as  to  men.  And  shall  particulars  have  a  right  which 
nations  have  not  ?  True  religion,  William  Penn,  is  the  perfection  of  reason.  Fa- 
naticism is  the  disgrace,  the  destruction  of  reason. 

Penn  says,  "  Though  what  thou  sayest  should  be  true,  it  does  not  come  well 
from  thy  mouth.  A  Papist  talk  of  reason  I  Go  to  the  inquisition  and  tell  them 
of  reason  and  the  great  laws  of  nature.  They  will  broil  thee  as  thy  soldiers  broiled 
the  unhappy  Guatimozin  I  Why  dost  thou  turn  pale  ?  Is  it  at  the  name  of  the 
inquisition,  or  the  name  of  Guatimozin  ?  Tremble  and  shake  when  thou  thinkest, 
that  every  murder  the  inquisitors  have  committed,  every  torture  they  have  inflicted 
on  the  innocent  Indians,  is  originally  owing  to  thee.  Thou  must  answer  to  God  for 
all  their  inhumanity,  for  all  their  injustice." 

"^  Papist  talk  of  reason  /"  There  was  a  lesson  for  Catholic  chil- 
dren ;  and  yet  the  School  Trustees,  through  the  Assistant  Aldermen, 
told  them  there  was  really  nothing  in  their  books  against  which 
they  ought  to  have  the  least  objection.  Yes,  they  would  impress  the 
minds  of  their  children  that  Catholics  are  necessarily,  morally,  intel- 
lectually, infallibly,  a  stupid  race.  Now  he  should  like  to  know 
what  reason  they  had  to  give,  in  the  introduction  of  their  writers — 
Robertson,  Hume,  and  others — what  reason  they  could  have,  when 
they  knew  there  were  such  a  multitude  of  Catholic  writers,  to  sup- 
press even*  the  least  occasional  mention  of  Catholic  writers.  Was  it 
because  Catholics  had  no  men  who  had  labored  in  the  fields  of  science 
to  improve  the  human  mind  ?  Now,  though  it  might  be  a  secret 
to  those  gentlemen,  there  was  no  department  of  history  or  philoso- 
phy in  which  the  mind  of  a  Catholic  had  not  taken  the  lead ;  and 
the  time  was  when  they  found  the  Catholic  arm  the  strongest  in 
pushmg  the  Sun  of  Science  up  the  heavens.  Who  had  produced 
works  of  theology  like  theirs  (the  Catholicai?  In  philosophy, 
whether  of  mmd  or  matter,  where  were  the  books  which  for  depth 
of  research,  or  extent  of  knowledge,  equaled  or  approached  the 
mighty  tomes  produced  by  Catholics  ?  And  at  the  period  when 
ancient  civihzation  was  destroyed,  when  the  edifice  crumbled  under 
the  mighty  stroke  of  the  Goth  and  the  Hun,  and  when  society  was 
dissolved,  they  found  Catholic  minds  presiding  over  its  recon- 
struction, laying  its  foundations  broad  and  deep,  and  doing  every-, 
thing  calculated  to  improve  the  public  mind.  Who  reduced  a  mass 
^ rude  characters  into  letters  which  we  now  call  our  alphabet? 
W  ft«  i!.  Jf  T^"'  "^  "  thus  gave  a  language  to  Europe  by  establish- 
.Yig  Its  basis.  Nay,  more,  after  that,  who  introduced  that  most  im- 
portant branch  of  civilization,  agriculture?  It  was  the  monks,  by 
whose  industry  and  labor  the  reclaimed  wastes  became  the  "  model 
farms"  of  Europe,  and  from  them  agriculture  spread 

They  heard  much  of  free  government  and  of  Parliaments  but  was 
that  a  Protestant  invention  ?     No,  it  was  a  Catholic  Tnven'tion;Z 


it  was  copied  from  the  Catholic  Church.     The  first  models  of  repre- 
sentative government,  and  of  dignified  and  noble  parliaments,  were 
the  councils  of  the  Catholic  Church,  in  which  every  part  of  that 
church  had  its  representative.     Thence,  then,  the  idea  was  borrowed, 
w^hich  has  been  the  pride  and  boast  of  England  and  of  this  country 
after  her,  of  representative  government.     But  he  might  speak  also 
of  navigation.     Who  discovered  the  continent  on  which  they  now 
lived  ?     Was  it  not  a  Catholic  ?     Who  made  the  second  voyage  to 
this  continent,  and  stamped  his  name  upon  it  ?     Was  it  not  a  Cath- 
olic ? — Americus  Vespucius.     Who  made  the  first  voyage  round  the 
globe  ?     Was  it  not  a  Catholic  ?     And  Catholics  were  the  first  to 
visit  both  the  East  and  the  West  Indies ;  they  traversed  seas  to 
carry  the  knowledge  of  Jesus  Christ  to  the  ignorant,  and  they  then 
became  acquainted  with  the  physical  position  of  diflfevent  countries, 
and  they  conveyed  that  knowledge  to  the  world  either  in  letters  or 
other  documents,  and  added  a  mass  of  human  knowledge  which  had 
assumed  a  gigantic  size  before  Protestantism  first  sprung  out  of  the 
earth.     And  while  things  of  a  less  beneficial  tendency  were  going 
on  in  other  parts  of  the  globe,  Catholic  missionaries,  200  years  ago, 
penetrated  this  country  and  continued  a  chain  round  from  Quebec  to 
the  Mississippi.     While  persecution  was  going  on  in  the  North  and 
the  South,  with  which  Catholics  had  nothing  to  do,  their  free  banner 
waved  over  Maryland,  where  the  rights  of  conscience  were  recog- 
.  nized.     They  went  to  the  Indians,  not  to  destroy  but  to  convert,  to 
save,  and  civilize.     And  if  we  turn  our  eyes  from  these  things  to 
others,  we  shall  see  those  things  which  are  calculated  to  reflect 
honor  on  those  who  effected  their  accomplishment.     When  we  see 
the  alleviation  of  the  infirmities  of  human  life,  we  naturally  ask  our- 
sehes  to  whom  the  world  was  indebted  for  the  act  of  mercy.     Who 
planned  the  structures  and  laid  the  foundation  of  those  hospitals  for 
the  afflicted,  and  asylums  for  the  decrepid,  aged,  and  the  young  and 
exposed  infant  ?     Were  they  not  all  introduced  and  established  by 
the  benevolent  spirits  and  the  enlightened  minds  of  the  Catholics  of 
antiqiiity  ?    Turn  your  minds  to  other  structures,  and  then  ask  who 
laid  the  foundations  of  the  universities  ?     Who  originated  the  idea  ? 
Wlio  .aided  their  establishment ?     It  was  Catholics  alone;  and  if 
you  blot  out  the  benevolent  institutions  with  which  the  earth  is  still 
studded,  for  which  the  world  is  indebted  to  Catholics,   you  will 
find  but  a  few  insignificant  ones  remaining.     If  you  turn  again  from 
these  things  to  the  men  distinguished  by  their  own  intellect — to 
warriors  and  legislators — to  men  distinguished  by  their  eloquence, 
by  their  scientific  attainments,  in  jurisprudence,  or  in  other  stations 
in  public-life,  where  do  you  find  models  worthier  of  imitation  than 
those  by  whom  the  pages  of  Catholic  history  are  adorned.     Passing 
again  from  these  to  the  ornaments  of  ancient  literature,  of  classic 
(jreece  and  Rome,  and  while  desolation  and  barbarism  passed  over 
Europe  with  their  trains  of  evils,  who,  by  patient,  persevering  in- 
dustry, gathered  up  the  fragments  of  ancient  literature  to  adorn  the 
human  mind  ?     It  was  done  by  the  labor  of  the  calumniated  monks. 


Tos,  you  may  turn  your  eyes  on  whatever  side  you  please,  and  you 
will  find  that  Catholics  have  nothing  of  which  to  be  ashamed.  You 
will  find  no  reason  for  the  suppression  of  all  these  things  with  which 
Catholics  can  charge  themselves,  but  you  will  find  in  every  depart- 
ment, if  you  take  away  the  volumes  Catholics  have  written,  and  the 
mighty  libraries  they  have  collected,  your  shelves  will_  present  a 
barren  appearance.  Why,  we  have  the  testimony  of  eniinent  Prot- 
estant scholars  themselves,  attesting  the  fact  that  one  single  order 
alone — the  order  of  Benedictines— did  more  than  all  the  Protestants 
togethei-.  In  every  species  of  knowledge— in  history,  jurisprudence, 
and  canonical  and  civil  law— in  a  word,  in  everything  appertaining 
to  human  knowledge,  it  was  found  that  the  great  predominance 
was  due  to  Catholic  labor  and  Catholic  success ;  and  why  then  did 
they  not  find  one  page  to  adorn  these  school-books  from  authors 
like  these.  Again,  where  are  there  poets  like  Catholic  poets? 
Take  from  England  the  works  of  Catholic  writers :  take  away  her 
Chaucer,  and  Spenser,  and  Shakspeare,  and  Dryden,  and  Pope,  and 
yo\i  take  away  the  cream  of  English  literature.  Then,  if  they 
turned  their  minds  from  these  things  to  others  not  so  immediately 
essential  to  the  cultivation,  but  to  the  adornment  of  human  life^ 
take  the  study  of  the  mathematics — and  who  was  the  first  to  culti- 
vate that  study  in  the  west  of  Europe  ?  Who  invented  and  arrayed, 
and  introduced  that  science  but  the  Monk  Jerbert,  afterwards  Pope 
Sylvester  II. ;  the  same  who  introduced  the  first  celestial  globes. 
Then,  again,  in  architecture  and  its  application  to  the  construction 
of  bridges,  which  at  one  period  of  European  history  could  not  be 
constructed  without  calling  in  the  aid  of  some  learned  man  from  a 
distant  country,  who  was  usually  some  humble  monk  who  knew 
how  to  throw  the  daring  arch,  to  span  the  river,  or  to  cross  the  other- 
wise impassable  valley.  Take  away  from  England  even  the  archi- 
tectural structures  left  by  Catholics,  and  what  would  remain  ? — 
scarcely  anything.  Oxford  would  disappear,  and  the  greater  part 
of  Cambridge,  and  nothing  would  be  left  but  St.  Paul's,  of  which 
Lord  Kingsbury  said,  after  seeing  St.  Peter's,  it  was  scarcely  fit  for 
anything  but  to  be  blown  up  by  gunpowder.  If  they  turned  from 
these  things  to  inventions,  they  might  ask,  who  invented  the  art  of 
printing  ?  A  Catholic.  Who  originated  that  by  which  information 
was  sent  round  through  every  village  and  hamlet — the  post-office? 
A  Catholic.  Who  invented  the  clock  to  tell  what  time  of  day  it  was  ? 
A  Catholic.  Wlio  invented  the  compass  to  guide  the  mariner  across 
the  trackless  ocean  ?  A  Catholic?  What  is  it  that  Catholics  have 
not  done?  And  if  this  is  the  history  of  this  people,  why  was  it 
that  these  teachers  despised  them  ?  and  why  was  it  that  not  a  line 
fi-om  Catholic  authors  was  permitted  in  their  books?  And  they 
jiretended  to  be  all  impartiality  and  to  possess  feelings  of  the  most 
liberal  and  philanthropic  character.  But  turn  away  from  this  again 
to  another  thing.  There  are  afflictions  resting  on  the  children  of 
sorrow,  some  of  whom  are  deprived  of  sight,  and  the  sunbeam  falls 
fo  the  earth  in  vain  for  them.     Now  it  was  a  work  of  benevolence 


to  discover  eyes  for  these  children  of  sorrow,  and  to  place  them  at 
the  end  of  their  fingers ;  or,  in  other  words,  to  enable  them,  by  run- 
ning their  fingers  over  raised  characters,  to  read  with  rapidity ;  and 
it  is  to  a  Catholic  that  the  invention  is  to  be  attributed.  Again, 
there  is  another  class,  the  deaf  and  dumb,  who  can  neither  hear  nor 
speak.  Now,  happily  for  them,  there  is  an  invention,  which  ema- 
nated from  a  benevolent  heart,  by  which  they  can  communicate 
thought,  and  for  this  they  are  indebted  to  a  Catholic  priest.  The 
language  for  the  deaf  and  dumb  was  the  invention  of  the  Abbe 
Ponza,  a  Benedictine  of  Spain. 

Now  if  these  gentlemen  of  the  Public  Schools  would  place  Catho- 
lics under  a  dark  cloud,  he  saw  no  reason  why  they  should  not 
penetrate  that  cloud,  and  cause  some  of  the  rays  of  their  former 
glory  to  return  to  them.  It  was  then  again  the  Abbe  L'Eppe,  who 
on  visiting  two  sisters  thus  afllicted,  as  a  man  of  God,  was  himself 
afflicted  that  he  could  not  communicate  to  them  the  Chri^ian  Reli- 
gion. He  began  to  move  by  signs,  and  continued  to  improve  on  his 
attempt,  until  at  Mngth  he  acquired  the  means  of  communicating 
with  the  deaf  and  dumb  with  ease  and  rapidity. 

Who  was  the  founder  of  Sunday-schools  ?  It  was  Saint  Charles 
Borromeo — a  Catholic.  In  a  word,  there  is  no  department  of 
knowledge  in  which  Catholics  have  not  been  distinguished.  But  to 
go  further,  who  discovered  a  quicker  means  of  communication  than 
the  railroad  ?  ,  It  was  not  used  so  extensively  in  this  country  as  in 
some  others,  but  it  might  be  important  even  here,  if  an  invasion 
should  be  made  of  any  part  of  our  coast,  to  communicate  information 
to  Washington  and  reeeiAe  an  answer  back  in  less  time  than  it  could 
be  done  by  railroads.  He  would  deserve  a  prize  who  should  invent' 
the  means  of  sending  information  from  Niagara  to  Washington  and 
receiving  an  answer  back  in  six  or  seven  hours.  And  yet  the  equiva- 
lent of  this  had  been  done  by  a  Catholic  priest  who  invented  the 
telegraph.  [Applause.]  If  they  turned  to  music,  who  had  brought 
it  to  its  present  state  by  the  perfection  of  instrumental  music? 
Who  had  taught  the  canvas  to  speak  ?  And  who  had  given  life  and 
animation  to  the  cold  marble  ?  Catholics.  And  all  the  boasted 
superiority  of  Protestants  was  yet  an  infinite  distance  from  the  pro- 
ductions of  Catholics,  and  they  Avere  proud  to  distraction  if  they 
succeeded  in  producing  a  tolerable  copy  of  that  which  Catholics  had 
invented.  [Applause.]  He  had  thus  endeavored  to  claim  for  Ca- 
tholics that  to  which  they  were  confessedly  entitled.  The  gentle- 
men of  the  public  schools  had  not  treated  them  fairly  or  honorably, 
when  they  had  thought  proper  to  fill  their  pages  for  the  instruction 
of  their  children,  from  Hume  and  Robertson,  and  other  Protestant 
writers  who  were  all  opposed  to  the  Catholics,  and  not  given  one 
sentence  from  Catholic  authors.  But  he  would  go  now  to  another 
point.  They  had  said  that  there  was  nothing  in  their  books  to 
which  Catholics  could  object.  Why,  in  the  most  delicate  manner 
[laughter]  they  teach  that  the  ceremonies  of  the  Catholic  religion  are 
the  remnants  of  idolatry — so  slyly  and  so  gently  is  it  introduced, 


[Laughter.]  In  "  Conversations  on  Common  Things,"  which  were 
used  as  reading  lessons  for  their  children,  there  occurred  the  tollow- 
ing  passages  : 

"  D.  What  13  frankincense  ?  it  was  burned  in  the  Catholic  church  the  day  I  was 
there ;  I  suppose  it  is  a  kind  of  gum  ?  ,  ,„„„„ 

"  M.  It  is  an  odoriferous  substance,  consisting  of  equal  quantities  ot  ^mmy 
and  resinous  particles :  it  is  collected  in  a  very  impure  state,  and  rednea  alter 
importation.  We  have  the  gum  from  Mount  Lebanon  and  Arabia,  also  in  great 
quantities  from  the  western  coast  of  Africa.  It  was  formerly  burnt  in  all  temples 
of  worship,  and  many  Christians  were  put  to  death  by  the  idolatrous  Jews  and  Ro- 
mans, for  refusing  to  burn  it  before  idols." 

They  would  see  the  connection  which  children,  whether  Catholics 
or  Protestants,  after  reading  this  lesson  would  ever  associate  m  their 
minds.  They  would  never  see  frankincense  without  associatmg 
therewith  the  putting  to  death  of  Christians  by  "  the  idolatrous  Jews 
and  Romans,  for  refusing  to  burn  it  before  idols."  But  take  an- 
other. They  had  now,  after  the  assertion  of  these  gentlemen  that 
they  did  not  teach  religion,  the  proclamation  that  Catholics  ought 
not  to  be  allowed  any  portion  of  this  money  because  they  would 
teach  religion.  Now  they  were  told  that .  the  teachers  were  not 
allowed  to  give  instruction  in  religion  by  way  of  explanation  of  the 
reading  lessons,  but  they  had  a  sermon  printed  at  the  end  of  the 
text,  and  svch  a  sermon.  [Laughter.]  The  book  entitled  "  Popular 
Lessons"  contained  a  chapter  on  "  The  Ten  Virgins,"  and  the  mys- 
terous  words  in  that  lesson  were  explained  to  the  children  at  the 
end  of  the  chapter  imder  the  title  of  "explanations."  T4ie  first 
word  explained  was  the  word  "  parable  ;"  and  this  was  the  explana- 
tion, "  A  parable  is  sometimes  called  a  comparison  ;  it  shows  one 
thing  or  circumstance  to  resemble  some  other."  [Laughter.]  The 
next  was  the  word  "  virgins  ;"  and  what  did  they  suppose  that 
meant?  "  immarried  women,"  according  to  the  Public  Schools. 
[Laughter.]  After  some  other  explanations  they  go  on  to  the  word 
"  marriage,"  and  here  is  the  explanation  : 

"  Marrinr/r, — When  a  man  and  woman  agree  to  live  together  all  their  lives,  and 
to  be  called  Husband  and  Wife,  their  agreement  is  called  marriage.  The  wife  takes 
her  husband's  name,  and  goes  to  his  house ;  and  whatever  belongs  to  one  of  them 
belongs  to  the  other  also. 

"  When  the  man  takes  the  woman  for  his  wife,  the  ceremony  of  the  occasion  is 
called  a  weddinr/.  At  weddings,  the  friends  of  the  couple  to  be  married  often  as- 
semble, and  most  commonly  the  company  are  very  merry  and  happy  together. 
The  marriage  ceremony  is  different  in  different  countries,  and  among  people  of 
different  sects." 

But  here  was  another,  and  he  confessed  he  considered  it  of  a 
much  more  serious  character.  It  was  a  chapter  introduced  for  the 
instruction  of  their  children  on  "  The  Character  of  Christ."  Now 
those  gentlemen,  of  all  the  men  he  ever  knew,  were,  to  his  mind,  the 
most  inconsistent,  and  yet  the  most  complacent  in  their  inconsistency. 
They  were  first  told  that  those  gentlemen,  did  not  teach  religion  in 
their  schools;  and  then  again,  oh  yes,  they  said,  we  do,  but  it  is  the 
morality  of  all  sects — a  kind  of  religion  which  all  agree  in,  so  that 
nobody  is  offended.     [Laughter.]     Now  here  was  a  chapter  from 


tlie  Bishop  of  London,  from  wliich  these  men  would  teach  their 
(Catholic)  children  the  character  of  Jesus  Christ.  He  would  read 
a  passage,  and  if  Rosseau  or  Voltaire  would  not  give  a  character 
more  worthy  of  him,  he  did  not  know  what  they  could  write.  It 
was  certainly  all  panegyric,  but  still  it  suppressed  the  true  part  of 
his  character,  while  it  shoirtfed  that  he  was  not  a  Philosopher  like 
Socrates,  nor  a  Prophet  like  Mahomet. 

"  lie  was  not^  only  free  from  every  failing,  but  he  possessed  and  practiced  every 
imaginable  virtue.  Towards  his  heavenly  Father  he  expressed  the  most  ardent 
love,  tlie  most  fervent,  yet  rational  devotion  ;  and  displayed  in  his  whole  conduct 
the  most  absolute  resignation  to  his  •will,  and  obedience  to  his,  commands. 

"  His  manners  were  gentle,  mild,  condescending,  and  gracious ;  his  lieart  over- 
flowed with  kindness,  compassion  and  tenderness  to  the  whole  human  race.  The 
grpat  employment  of  his  life,  was  to  do  good  to  the  bodies  and  souls  of  men.  In 
this  all  his  thoughts,  and  all  his  time  were  constantly  and  almost  incessantly 

"  He  went  about,  disposing  his  blessings  to  all  around  him,  in  a  thousand  dif- 
ferent ways;  healing  diseases,  relieving  infirmities,  correcting  errors,  removing 
prejudices,  promoting  piety,  justice,  charity,  peace,  and  harmony ;  and  crowding 
into  the  narrow  compass  of  his  ministry,  more  acts  of  mercy  and  compassion,  than 
the  longest  life  of  the  most  benevolent  man  upon  earth  ever  yet  produced. 

"  Over  his  own  passions  he  had  the  most  complete  command ;  and  though  his 
patience  was  continually  put  to  the  severest  trials,  yet  he  was  never  overcome, 
never  betrayed  into  any  intemperance  or  excess,  in  word  or  deed ;  '  never  once 
spake  unadvisedly  with  his  lips.' 

"  He  endured  the  crudest  insults  from  his  enemies,  with  the  utmost  composure, 
meekness,  patience,  and  resignation ;  displayed  astonishing  fortitude  under  the 
most  painful  and  ignominous  death ;  and  to  crown  all,  in  the  very  midst  of  his  tor- 
ments on  the  cross,  implored  forgiveness  for  his  murderers,  in  that  divinely  chari- 
table prayer,  '  Father,  forgive  them,  for  they  know  not  what  they  do.' 

"'  Nor  was  his  wisdom  inferior  to  his  virtues.  The  doctrines  he  taught  were  the 
most  sublime,  and  the  most  important,  that  were  ever  before  delivered  to  mankind  ; 
and  every  way  worthy  of  that  God  from  whom  he  professed  to  derive  them,  and 
whose  Son  he  declared  himself  to  be. 

"  His  precepts  inculcated  the  purest  and  most  perfect  morality ;  his  discourses 
were  full  of  dignity  and  wisdom,  yet  intelligible  and  clear ;  his  parables  conveyed 
instruction  in  the  most  pleasing,  familiar,  and  impressive  manner ;  and  his  answers 
to  the  many  insidious  questions  that  were  put  to  him,  showed  uncommon  quickness 
of  conception,  soundness  of  judgment  and  presence  of  mind ;  completely  baflied  all 
the  artifices  and  malice  of  his  enemies ;  and  enabled  him  to  elude  all  the  snares 
that  were  laid  for  him'. 

"  From  this  short  and  imperfecl  sketch  of  our  Saviour's  character,  it  is  eviden*- 
that  he  was,  beyond  comparison,  the  wisest  and  the  most  virtuous  person  that  ever 
appeared  in  the  world." 

"  His  answers  to  the  many  insidious  questions  that  were  put  to 
hims,  showed  uncommon  quickness  of  conception, ! — soundness  of  judg- 
ment! and  -presence  of  mind!"  and  so  forth.  Now  he  asked  if  that 
was  not  a  very  liberal  admission  in  favor  of  their  blessed  Lord  and 
Saviour  Jesus  Christ.  He  asked  if  a  deist  or  an  atheist  could  be 
found  in  New  York  who  would  not  give  him  the  character  which 
these  gentlemen  would  introduce  to  their  children,  and  which  would 
almost  degi'ade  him  to  the  condition  of  the  Philosophers  of  Greece. 
They  praise  him !  But  it  is  with  language  the  most  insidious.  They 
give  him  credit  for  eluding  all  the  snares  of  his  enemies,  but  it  is  as 
though  they  said,  Snares  were  laid  for  him  by  his  enemies,  but  he 


was  too  cute  for  them.  [Laughter.]  And  yet  these  men  pretend 
that  they,  and  they  alone,  ought  to  monopolize  the  direction  of  the 
mind  of  infancy.  They  pretend  thalt  they  alone  should  take  the  con- 
tribution of  Catholics  for  so  noble  a  purpose  as  that  of  education ; 
become  the  guardians  and  directors  of  Catholic  children ;  and  that 
they  alone  are  fitted  to  guard  the  heart,  Vl^eh  is  of  infinitely  greater 
importance  than  the  welfare  of  the  body. 

These,  then,  were  the  men  Avho  were  laboring  to  prove  that  there 
was  not  any  single  denomination  of  Christians  from  which  a  Board 
could  be  formed  that  was  worthy  to  be  confided  in._  But  he  would 
like  to  know  if  there  was  not  a  Christian  denomination  to  be  found 
from  which  a  Board  could  .be  formed  of  equal  respectability  with 
those  gentlemen,  and  he  did  not  wish  to  detract  from  their  character. 
It  was  a  libel  on  the  men  Avho  were  conscientious  in  other  faiths  to 
intimate  that  they  were  less  capable  or  less  honest  than  they  (the 
School  Trustees).  What  reason,  then,  could  be  given  for  the  interpo- 
sition of  these  gentlemen  between  Catholics  and  their  children  ?  for 
claiming  the  right  to  extort  on  the  one  hand  the  expense  of  the  edu- 
cation, and  then  its  administration,  and  in  its  administration  to  dilute 
and  render  it  good  for  nothing  ?  For  himself,  he  had  no  care  in 
this  matter ;  but  for  the  children  of  Catholics,  as  their  Bishop,  and 
therefore  their  spiritual  parent  and  protector,  he  had  a  conscientious 
duty  to  discharge  in  the  protection  and  vindication  of  their  princi- 
ples and  their  rights.  He  cared  less  for  the  money  than  for  their 
rights  and  principles.  [Applause.]  And  what  he  said  for  Catholics 
to-day,  he  would  say  for  the  Lutheran  or  the  Quaker  to-morrow,  if 
they  had  the  same  conscientious  scrujDles.  There  was  no  law- 
there  could  be  no  law  in  this  country  under  any  pretext,  that  could 
compel  them  to  violate  the  rights  of  conscience,  whereby  the  very 
existence  of  society  itself  in  this  country  depends.  He  repeated, 
as  a  matter  of  money,  it  was  not  so  much  a  matter  of  importance,'  as 
it  was  as  a  matter  of  principle ;  and  for  the  Catholics,  he  proclaimed 
it  to  the  world,  that  as  regarded  tl\e  Public  Schools,  there  was  an 
end  of  all  connection  with  them  —  The  Uniox  is  Repealed. 
[Great  applause.]  Wliat,  then,  was  their  future  course  ?  It  was  that 
they  were  obliged  to  do  henceforward  as  they  had  done  heretofore — 
to  educate  their  own  children,  after  paying  into  the  common  treasury 
the  expense  of  doing  so.  They  thereby  saved  their  children's  prin- 
ciples, and  if  the  gentlemen  of  the  Public  Schools  deemed  it  any 
glory  to  take  the  money  of  the  Catholics,  poor  as  many  of  them 
were,  and  appropriate  it  to  a  partial  system  from  which  the  Catho- 
lics were  excluded,  let  them  enjoy  the  unenvied  glory  of  doing  so,; 
but  a  conquest  over  their  principles  those  gentlemen  would  not 
obtain.     [Applause.] 

It  remained,  then,  for  them  (the  Catholics),  to  unite  in  soul  in  pro- 
portion to  the  tenacity  of  purpose  with  which  the  School  Society 
cling  to  the  existing  system;  and  to  show  those  gentlemen  with 
what  perseverance  and  firmness  they  were  determined  not  to  submit 
to  injuries.     So  far  as  it  depended  on  them  (the  Catholics),  those 


gentlemen  would  find  no  acquiescence  in  a  system,  which,  in  the 
conscience  and  judgment  of  every  impartial  man  could  not  merit 
approbation.  They  (the  Catholics)  had  to  develop  their  position  to 
the  world,  and  to  explain  to  the  community  at  large  the  bearing  of 
this  system  upon  them,  for  there  were  multitudes  that  did  not  com- 
prehend it,  and  who  saw  nothing  in  it  affecting  their  own  religion' 
to  induce  them  to  examine  it.  But  when  Catholics  showed  how  it 
pressed  unequally  on  them,  and  on  the  principles  of  justice,  on  their 
freedom  of  conscience,  and  on  the  liberty  which  they  ought  to  possess 
to  give  instruction  to  their  own  children,  they  would  find  friends  and 
supporters  among  those  who  had  no  sympathy  with  their  religion. 
He  conceived  it  could  not  be  otherwise.  But  all  he  begged  of  the 
Public  Council  of  the  Board  of  Aldermen,  was  to  treat  them  with 
candor  and  frankness,  and  at  once  say  yes,  or  no.  This  was  all  they 
expected — as  a  matter  of  favor  to  be  conferred  on  them,  they  did  not 
ask  it,  they  claimed  it  as  a  right  for  which  they  had  many  prece- 
dents. In  Ireland  the  Presbyterians  objected  to  the  system  pursued 
by  the  British  Government,  and  that  government  consulted  those 
objections  to  remove  them ;  and  he  would  say,  glory  to  those  Pres- 
byterians for  stating  their  scruples. 

Again,  look  at  Lowell  in  their  own  country.  The  Catholics  there 
being  unwilling  to  place  their  children  under  a  system  which  they 
conceived  operated  against  their  consciences,  made  known  their  ob- 
jections to  the  superintendents  of  those  schools ;  and  those  superin- 
tendents, on  becoming  acquainted  with  the  facts,  being  themselves 
men  of  education,  without  any  desire  to  encroach  on  the  rights,  or 
to  get  the  shavings  of  the  consciences  of  others — [laughter] — said  to 
the  Catholics,  Establish  your  own  schools,  select  your  own  teachers, 
and  we  will  pay  for  them,  provided  you  give  education,  for  education 
is  what  we  want.  IS'ow,  cannot  these  men  do  that  here,  instead  of 
pursuing  the  course  which  they  have  pursued  hitherto  ?  But  if,  on 
the  contrary,  they  say,  Keep  quiet,  we  know  who  you  are,  we  will 
tell  them  we  are  not  afraid :  the  time  when  Penn  told  Cortez  Catho- 
lics could  not  reason,  has  gone  by ;  and  now  Cathohcs  can  reason ; 
and  when  they  were  made  to  bear  burdens  which  pressed  more 
heavily  than  was  fair,  and  reasonable,  and  right,  they  would 
tell  those  gentlemen  that  they  would  not  submit  to  it.  [Great 

There  was  one  other  subject  to  which  it  was  his  desire  to  call  the 
attention  of  the  meeting.  It  was  in  reference  to  the  opportunity  to 
be  afforded  them  of  stating  their  grievances  to  the  Board  of  Alder- 
men. It  had  been  suggested  to  him  by  a  gentleman  very  deeply  in- 
terested in  the  success  of  this  question,  that  it  might  not  be  expedi- 
ent for  him  (the  Bishop)  to  appear  in  such  a  place  on  such  an  occa- 
sion, for  it  was  possible  that  some  language  might  be  used  towards 
him,  which,  though  he  might  bear  it  with  patience,  might  be  painful 
to  others.  On  this  question,  he  had  replied,  he  was  willing  to  give 
up  his  own  opinion,  but  at  the  same  time  he  stated  that  he  had  no 
apprehension  of  anything  of  that  kind,  or  if  anything  of  the  sort 


should  occur,  it  would  have  no  effect  on  him  personally,  or  on  his 
feelings.  But  he  had  no  apprehensions  on  the  subject,  either  on 
questions  of  propriety  or  any  other. 

He,  however,  had  considered  whether  he  should  not  there  be  out 
of  place^and  whether  even  in  meetings  like  the  present  he  was  not; 
but  so  vital  and  important  did  he  consider  the  question,  that  he  con- 
ceived he  could  not  be  anywhere  more  in  keeping  with  his  character 
as  a  bishop,  than  when  lie  stood  before  them,  pleading  the  cause 
of  the  poor  and  the  oppressed.  [Great  applause.]  And  so  near 
was  the  question  to  his  heart  that  he  could  bear  insult  from  morning 
till  night.  [Renewed  applause.]  Insult  would  have  no  other  effect 
on  him  than  to  make  him  cling  still  closer  to  that  principle  which 
was  to  be  acted  upon  in  a  few  days,  but  the  effect  of  which  was  to 
be  felt  through  years  and  years,  through  ages  and  ages,  through 
generations  and  generations,  till  the  world  shall  be  no  more. 
[Cheers.]  For  such  a  question  he  might  venture  to  the  farthest 
boundaries  of  propriety — to  the  farthest  limits  which  propriety 
would  allow  a  bishop  to  go.  He  was,  howeVei',  willing  to  submit 
his  opinion  to  the  meeting.  He  should  not  consider  himself  out  of 
place  there  ;  and  he  had  nothing  to  dread  on  that  occasion.  [Great 
applause.]  He  then  passed  a  high  eulogium  on  the  character  of 
Mr.  Francis  Cooper,  and  on  his  firmness  in  refusing  to  take  the  oaths 
prescribed  for  members  of  the  Legislature,  and  when  he  conceived 
them  contrary  to  the  right  of  conscience,  and  concluded  by  pro- 
posing the  addition  of  that  gentleman  to  the  committee  deputed  to 
wait  on  the  Board  of  Aldermen,  to  state  the  ground  of  their  claim — 
an  addition  which  he  considered  valuable,  inasmuch  as  Mr.  Cooper 
was  familiar  with  the  subject,  having  been  himself  connected  with 
the  CommoB.  School  System. 



THE   29th  and  30iii  OCTOBER,  1840. 

On  Thursday,  the  39th  October,  1840,  the  Board  of  Aldermen  met  m 
special  session,  for  the  purpose  of  hearing  the  arguments  of  the  Catholics 
in  favor  of  their  claim  to  a  separate  portion  of  the  Common  School  Fund, 
and  the  School  Society,  and  the  Societies  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal 
Church  in  opposition.  The  Board  of  Assistant  Aldermen  was  present,  by 
invitation  of  the  Board  of  Aldermen,  to  hear  the  discussion.  The  deep 
interest  which  was  felt  in  the  question  by  the  community  generally  was 
exhibited  by  the  dense  crowd  which  filled  the  spacious  halls  long  before 
the  doors  of  the  Council  Chamber  were  thrown  open,  and  by  the  anx- 
ious solicitude  which  was  manifested  to  hear  the  debate. 

Some  time  elapsed  before  the  Aldermen  and  the  gentlemen  who  were  to 
take  part  in  the  proceedings  could  obtain  a  passage  through  the  mass  of 
human  beings  that  struggled  for  admission,  even  with  the  aid  of  a  body 
of  police  officers,  and  great  numbers  of  individuals  were  ultimately  unable 
to  gain  admission. 

When  the  Board  became  organized,  and  some  points  of  form  had  been 
determined,  it  was  agreed  to  hear  the  parties  in  the  order  in  which  their 
I)etitions  or  remonstrances  had  been  received  by  the  Council — viz.,  first 
the  Catholics,  then  the  Public  School  Society,  and  lastly  the  Societies  of 
the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,  which  were  respectively  represented  by 
the  following  Committees  and  Counsel : — The  Catholics,  by  the  Right  Rev. 
Bishop  Hughes,  the  Very  Rev.  Dr.  Power,  Thomas  O'Connor,  Esq.,  Francis 
Cooper,  Esq.,  Dr.  Hugh  Sweeney,  James  McKeon,  Esq.,  and  James  Kelly, 
Esq. ;  the  School  Society,  by  Theodore  Sedgwick,  Esq.,  and  Hiram 
Ketchum,  Esq. ;  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Churches,  by  the  Revs.  Dr. 
Bangs,  Dr.  Bond,  and  George  Peck. 

Before  entering  on  the  discussion,  the  reading  of  the  petition  of  the 
Catholics  and  the  remonstrances  from  the  other  Societies  here  represented, 
was  called  by  the  Alderman  of  the  Sixteenth  "Ward,  and  they  were  road 
accordingly  by  Mr.  John  Paulding,  the  Reader  to  the  Board. 


The  Right  Rev.  Bishop  Hughes  then  rose  to  address  the  Board  in  behalf  of 
th3  Catholics,  and  spoke  as  follows: 

Gentlemen  of  the  Board  of  Aldermen, — Unaccustomed  as  I  am  to  address  a 
body  of  gentlemen  such  as  "l  see  here  before  me,  I  may  not  always  be  correct 
in  the  manner  of  my  address :  I  hope,  therefore,  that  any  mistakes  of  mine 
may  be  imputed  by  this  Honorable  Board  to  my  inexperience.  I  would  also, 
on  the  threshold  of  the  subject,  observe,  that  in  no  part  of  the  discussion  on 
this  question,  so  far  as  it  has  gone,  am  I  conscious  of  having  imputed  to  any 
gentleman  who  is  opposed  to  the  claim  in  which  I  have  so  deep  an  interest, 
any  motive  or  design  of  a  sinister  character.  I  am  sorry,  therefore,  that  the 
Public  School  Society  should  have  been  pleased  to  refer  to  the  language  of  our 
■  document  as  though  imputation  had  thereby  been  cast  upon  their  motives.  I 
am  sure  if  they  again  review  our  documents  they  will  not  find  one  sohtary 
instance  of  any  imputation  dishonorable  to  them  personally  as  gentlemen.  We 
speak  of  their  system  apart  from  themselves ;  and  we  speak  of  it  with  that 
freedom  wtiich  it  is  the  right  of  American  citizens  to  speak  of  the  public  actions 
and  public  proceedings  of  public  men  ;  but  again  will  I  repeat,  that  in  no 
instance  to  my  knowledge  has  there  been  imputed  to  those  gentlemen  one 
solitary  motive,  one  single  purpose  unworthy  of  their  high  standing  and  their 
respectable  character.  They  have  alleged,  in  some  of  their  documents,  that  we 
charge  them  with  teaching  infidelity ;  but  we  have  not  done  so.  We  charge  it 
&s  the  result  of  their  system,  not  that  they  are  actively  engaged  in  teaching 
infidelity  ;  and  not  only  do  we  not  say  this,  but  we  interpose  the  declaration, 
that  we  do  not  believe  such  to  be  their  intention,  but  that  the  system  has  gone 
beyond  their  intention.  Yet,  after  this,  they  ascribe  to  themselves  these  impu- 
tations, and  they  cap  their  salvo  by  saying,  that  even  the  authors  of  the  address 
shrink  from  a  picture  of  their  own  coloring — a  picture  which  they  not  only 
charge  that  we  have  drawn  of  them,  but  also  of  all  other  classes  and  denomi- 
nations of  our  fellow-citizens.  Now,  I  venture  to  repeat,  that  in  no  instance 
have  we  imputed  to  them  motives  which  can  reflect  on  them  as  honorable  men. 
I  make  these  observations  in  the  commencement,  simply  to  show  how  much 
has  been  written  of  the  petitioners  on  assumptions  which  have  no  foundation 
on  any  thing  that  has  been  written  or  said  by  us.  I  know  well  the  Public 
School  Society  is  an  institution  highly  popular  in  the  city  of  New  York ;  but  I 
should  be  sorry 'to  suppose  that  those  gentlemen  would  permit  themselves  to 
interpose  that  popularity  between  them  and  the  justice  which  we  contend  for 
when  we  seek  that  to  which  we  believe  we  have  a  legal  right.  At  the  same 
time  it  is  proper  for  me,  at  the  commencement,  to  clear  away  another  objection 
which  an  attempt  has  been  made,  in  both  the  remonstrances  thiat  have  been 
read,  to  oppose  to  the  exceedingly  simple  principle  for  which  we  contend. 
The  attempt  has  been  made,  (and  you  will  perceive  the  whole  document,  which 
issued  as  a  Report  from  the  Board  of  Assistant  Aldermen,  as  well  as  the 
remonstrances  of  the  Public  School  Society,  ^nd  the  Methodist  Episcopal 
Church,  is  based  on  the  same  false  assumption,)  to  assume  false  premises  in 
this  matter,  which  are,  that  we  want  this  money  for  the  promotion  of  the 
ecclesiastical  interests  of  our  Church.  Now,  if  these  Societies  wish  to  enter 
their  remonstrances  against  our  petition  they  should  first  read  the  language  in 
which  we  have  urged  our  claim,  and  if  they  had,  they  would  have  saved 
themselves  the  trouble,  in  my  opinion,  of  reasoning  on  arguments  which  are  but 
figments  of  their  own  creation  and  no  proposition  of  ours.  Have  not  we  distinctly 
stated  not  only  what  we  want,  but,  to  guard  them  against  accusing  us  of  what 
wo  do  not  want,  have  we  not  said  that  we  do  not  want  the  public  money  to 
promote  ecclesiastical  interests  ?  for  to  this  money,  for  such  a  purpose,  we  have 
no  right.  And,  also,  have  we  not  further  stated,  that  if  it  can  be  shown  that 
we  want  the  money  for  this  purpose,  that  we  will  abandon  our  claim— that  if 


it  can  be  shown  that  we  want  it  for  sectarian  interest  we  will 
altogether  ?    "We  have  said  in  the  first  place : 

"Your  petitioners  will  now  invite  the  attention  of  your  honorable  body  to  the  objections 
and  misrepresentations  that  have  been  urged  by  the  Public  School  Society  to  gnvntinf, 
the  claim  of  your  petitioners.  It  is  urged  by  them  that  it  would  be  appropriating 
money  raised'  by  general  taxation  to  trie  snppo;"t  of  the  Catholic  religion.  Your 
petitioners  join  issue  with  them,  and  declare  unhesitatingly,  that  if  this  objection  can 
be  established  the  claim  shall  forthwith  be  abandoned.  It  is  objected  that  though  we 
are  taxed  as  citizens,  we  apply  for  the  benefits  of  education  as  '  Catholics,'  Your 
petitioners,  to  remove  this  difficulty,  beg  to  be  considered  in  their  application  in  the 
identical  capacity  in  which  they  are  taxed,  viz. :  as  citizens  of  the  commonwealth. 
It  has  been  contended  by  the  Public  School  Society,  that  the  law  disqualilies 
.schools  which  admit  any  profession  of  religion  from  receiving  any  encouragementa 
from  the  school  fund.  Your  petitioners  have  two  solution^  for  this  pretended  difficulty. 
First.  Your  petitioners  are  unable  to  discover  any  such  disqualification  in  law, 
which  m.erely  delegates  to  your  honorable  body  the  authority  and  discretion  of 
determining  what  schools  or  societies  shall  be  entitled  to  its  bounty.  Secondly.  Your 
petitioners  are  willing  to  fulfill  the  conditions  of  the  law  so  far  as  religious  teaching  is 
proscribed  during  school  hours.  In  fine,  your  petitioners,  to  remove  all  objections,  are 
willing  that  the  material  organization  of  their  schools,  and  the  disbursements  of  the 
funds  allowed  for  them,  shall  be  conducted  and  made,  by  persons  unconnected  with 
*he  religion  of  your  petitioners,  even  the  Public  School  Society,  if  it  should  please  your 
honorable  body  to  appoint  them  for  that  purpose.  The  public  may  then  be  assured 
that  the  money  will  not  be  applied  to  the  support  of  the  Catholic  religion. 

"  It  is  deemed  necessary  by  your  petitioners  to  save  the  Public  School  Society  the 
necessity  of  future  misconception,  thus  to  state  the  things  which  are  not  petitioned 

Yet,  notwithstanding  this  clear  and  simple  language,  you  perceive  both  the 
remonstrances,  of  the  School  Society  and  the  Episcopal  Methodists,  go  on  this 
false  issue,  that  we  want  this  money  for  sectarian  and  illegal  purposes!  Our 
language  could  not  be  plainer  than  it  was  on  this  point,  and  yet  there  has  been 
uncharitableness  enough  in  these  societies  to  assert  the  contrary.  I  have 
deemed  it  necessary  to  make  this  explanation  at  the  commencement  to  impress 
your  minds,  gentlemen,  with  what  it  is  we  seek  and  what  it  is.  we  seek  not, 
because  I  know  a  deal  may  be  done  towards  a  proper  elucidation  of  this  subject 
by  preserving  its  simplicity.  The  remonstrants  warn  you,  gentlemen,  against 
giving  money  for  sectarian  purposes.  We  join  them  in  that  admonition.  We 
contend  that  we  look  in  honesty  and  simplicity  alone  for  the  benefits  of  educa- 
tion ;  and  as  members  of  the  commonwealth  and  as  Catholics  we  seek  but  that 
which  we  believe  to  be  just,  and  legal,  and  right. 

I  shall  now,  gentlemen,  review  very  briefly  both  the  documents,  because  they 
submit  to  your  Honorable  Body  the  grounds  on  which  that  claim,  which  we 
believe  to  be  just,  is  opposed.  After  the  introduction  of  that  from  the  Public 
School  Society,  we  find  in  the  second  paragraph  the  following  passages  : 

"  The  subject  has,  however,  been  so  fully  elucidated  and  ably  argued,  in  documents 
now  among  the  public  records,  that  your  remonstrants  cannot  Tiope  to  shed  any 
additional  fight  upon  it.  They  therefore  beg  leave  to  refer  your  honorable  body  to 
Document  No.  80,  of  the  Board  of  Assistant  Aldermen,  as  containing  the  reasons  on 
which  your  remonstrants  would  rely,  in  opposing  the  applications  of  religious  societies 
for  a  portion  of  the  school  fund.  It  is  believed  that  no  decision  of  the  City  Government 
ever  met  with  a  more  general  and  cordial  response  in  the  public  mind." 

Yes,  it  may  well  be  so  believed,  for  the  reason  that  that  whole  document  wSnt 
on  a  false  issue,  and  therefore  it  was  thus  believed.  But  if  I  prove,  as  I  shall, 
that  the  premises  had  no  foundation  in  reality,  then  the  arguments  founded 
thereon  must  fall  to  the  ground,  for  they  were  but  castles  in  the  air.  It 
proceeds :  '  ' 

"  As  the  Roman  Catholics  very  recently  issued  an  address  to  the  people  of  this  City 
and  State,  ui'ging  at  large  their  reasons  for  a  separate  appropriation  of  school  money, 
to  which  your  remonstrants  have  replied,  they  now  present  copies  of  said  documents, 
which  they  respectfully  submit  to  your  honorable  body,  as  containing  matter  relevant 
to  the  question  under  consideration.  The  petition  of  the  Roman  Catholics  now  pending 
presents,  nevertheless,  some  points  which  your  remonstrants  feel  called  upon  to  notice. 


B7  a  misapprehension  of  the  law  in  relation  to  persons  who  are  conscientiously  opposed 
to  bearing  arms,  which  is  applicable  to  persons  of  every  religious  persuasion,  they 
attempt  to  adduce  an  argument  in  favor  of  the  prayer  of  their  petition,  and  say  that 
theyi  only  claim  the  benefit  of  the  same  principle  in  regard  to  the  education  of  their 
children.  Now  the  facts  are,  that  the  law  imposes  a  fine,  or  tax  as  an  equivalent  for 
personal  military  services,  and  in  the  event  of  there  being  no  property  on  which  to 
levy,  subjects  such  persons  to  imprisonment,  and  numbers  are  every  year  actually 
confined  in  the  jails  of  this  State." 

Now  I  conceive  the  illustration  there  referred  to  was  a  strong  one.  The 
parents  and  guardians  of  tender  offspring  have  a  right  connected  with  their 
nature  by  God  himself  in  His  wise  Providence,  and  they  should  be  shown  a 
strong  reason  for  transferring  it  to  others.  And  I  adduced  it  as  an  illustration 
and  as  a  strong  one — why  ?  Because  the  defence  of  the  country  is  a  thing 
connected  with  self-existence  and  preservation  ;  and  yet,  so  tender  is  the  genius 
of  this  happy  country  of  the  rights  of  conscience,  it  dispensed  with  all  those 
who  had  religious  scruples  from  a  compliance  with  the  law,  and  changed  it 
into  a  small  tine,  whereby  the  right  was  shown,  and  also  the  disposition  to 
waive  it. 

"  With  the  religious  opinions  of  the  denomination  of  Christians  referred  to,  your 
remonstrants  have  nothing  to  do.  In  opposing  the  claims  of  the  Roman  Catholic,  and 
several  other  churches,  to  the  school  money,  they  have  confined  their  remarks  to  broad 
general  grounds  alike  applicable  to  all;  but  the  petitioners  have  seen  fit  to  single  out 
a  religious  society  by  name,  and  intimate  or  indirectly  assert,  not  only  that  their  pecu- 
liar religious  views  lead  to  insubordination  and  contempt  of  parental  authority,  but 
that  the  Trustees  of  the  Public  Schools,  who  are  of  this  denomination,  by  their  numbers 
or  the  '  controlling  influence'  they  exert,  have  introduced  the  *  same  principle'  into  the 
public  schools,  and  that  their  effects  are  manifested  in  the  conduct  of  the  Catholic 
children  who  have  attended  them." 

Now  I  am  exceedingly  surprised  that  those  gentlemen  should  go  so  far  from 
the  text  to  draw  reproach  upon  themselves.  We  said  nothing  to  authorize 
this  language.  We  simply  stated  the  fact ;  we  mentioned  the  circumstance  of 
the  controlling  influence  of  those  holding  peculiar  sectarian  views ;  but  we  did 
not  draw  the  conclusion,  whether  the  insubordination  of  the  children  of  our 
poor  people  was  the  result  of  the  principles  taught  in  the  schools  or  of  a  want 
of  domestic  influence.  And  yet  these  gentlemen  have  gone  on  to  draw  upon 
themselves  an  imputation  of  which  we  respectfully  disclaim  the  authorship. 
They  proceed : 

"  Your  remonstrants  feel  bound,  therefore,  in  reply,. to  state  that  of  the  one  hundred 
citizens  who  compose  the  hoard  of  trustees,  there  are  only  twelve  of  the  denomination 

thus  traduced "  and  of  these  six  or  seven  accepted  the  situation  by  solicitation  of 

the  board,  for  the  purpose  of  superintending  the  management  of  the  colored  schools,  to 
which  object  they  nave  almost  exclusively  confined  themselves." 

Now  I  should  be  one  of  the  last  to  detract  from  the  raferits  of  this  denomi- 
nation. Some  of  them  I  have  known  personally,  and  others  by  their  history, 
and  my  opinion  has  always  been  of  them  that  they  are  among  the  foremost 
in  every  benevolent  act  and  social  virtue,  and  to  lend  their  arm  to  strengthen 
the  weak  and  the  oppressed ;  and  therefore  it  is  no  reproach  to  them  that  they 
take  the  lead  in  this  work  of  benevolence  of  which  I  give  them  credit.  They 
go  on  to  say : 

'"  Of  the  motive  that  induced  this  extraordinary  portion  of  the  petition,  your  remon- 
strants will  not  trust  themselves  to  speak," 

It  might  be  recollected,  gentlemen,  if  there  were  a  leaning  that  way,  it 
was  after  the  publication  of  the  "Reply"  to  our  "Address,"  which,  though 
it  has  the  name,  is  no  rej>ly  to  our  arguments.  It  is  not  an  answer;  but  in 
it  they  take  the  occasion  to  sneer  at  us,  as  I  shall  soon  have  occasion  to 
show;  yet  I  may  here  observe,  that  it  would  have  been  better  if  they  had 
addressed  themselves  to  the  principles  of  eternal  justice  on  which  we  rest. 

"  Of  so  much  of  it,"  they  add,  "  as  convevs  an  idea  that  the  Trustees  who  are  of  this 
religious  persuasion  introduced,  or  attempt  to  introduce,  into  the  public  schools  their 


own  peculiar  opinions,"  we  never  charged  that  thej  did;  "they  can  only  say  that  no 
one  of  the  numerous  and  serious  charges  brought  against  your  remonstrants  by  the 
petitioners,  is  more  entirely  destitute  of  foundation  in  fact.  If  a  disposition  existed  in 
any  quarter  to  give  a  sectarian  bias  to  the  minds  of  the  children,  it  will  readily  be  seen 
that  the  most  successful  method  would  be  through  the  selection  of  teachers."' 

"Why,  there  was  no  necessity  for  this  vindication  at  all. 

"  In  one  of  the  documents  now  submitted  to  your  Honorable  Body,  it  is  stated  that,  in 
appointing  teachers,  no  regard  is  had  by  the  Trustees  to  the  religious  profession-of  the 
candidates,  and  that  six  or  seven  of  the  present  number  are  Roman  Catholics." 

I  have  seen  this  statement  figure  ia  almost  every  document  of  that  Society, 
and  yet  I  have  not  heeu  able  to  find  "six  or  seven  of  the  present  number 
who  are  Eoman  Catholics:"  and  I  doubt  if  they  can  be  found,  except  they 
are  such  Roman  Catholics  as  w«  see  our  children  become  after  they  have 
been  in  these  public  schools  ;  that  is.  Catholics  who  have  nij  feelings  in  com- 
mon with  their  church — Catholics  who  are  ashamed  of  the  name,  because  in 
the  school-books  and  from  the  teachers  they  hear  of  its  professors  only  as 
"  Papists,"  and  of  the  religion  itself  only  as  "  Popery."  It  is  such  as  these,  I 
fear,  that  pass  as  Catholics,  though  I  only  know  of  one  who  is  worthy  of  the 
name.  "From  an  inquiry  now  made,  it  is  found  that  only  two  of  the  teacii- 
ers  belong  to  the  '  Society  of  Friends.'  "  And  I  don't  suppose  that  better 
teachers  could  be  obtained  anywhere,  when  confined  within  the  limits  pre- 
scribed; .except  they  have  the  pinvilege  to  introduce  religious  instruction. 
And  without  that  it  matters  but  little  whether  they  are  of  the  Society  of 
Friends  or  not.     They  continue : 

"  It  is  with  regret  that  your  remonstrants  find  themselves  under  the  painful  neces- 
sity of  saying  that  the  petition  of  the  Catholics  contains  garbled  extracts  and  detached 
portions  of  some  parts  of  their  annual  reports  in  relation  to  religious  instruction,  and 
so  arranged  and  commented  upon  as  to  convey  a  meaning  directly  opposite  to  the  one 
intended  and  clearly  expressed  in  the  original  documents." 

Now,  I  will  allow  the  reading  of  it,  and  if  there  are  any  garbled  extracts 
there,  I  will  be  the  first  to  correct  it.  But  I  am  surprised,  when  we  quote 
the  words  of  their  documents,  that  they  should  urge  this  charge.  Let  the 
documents  be  read.    I  have  no  dread  on  this  subject. 

"  The  same  means  are  resorted  to  in  quoting  the  language  of  the  Trustees,  when 
urging  the  importance  of  using  measures  for  inducing  the  poor  to  have  their  children 
educated.  On  different  occasions,  your  remonstrants  have  suggested  to  tjie  Common 
Council  the  expediency  of  requiring,  by  legal  enactment,  the  attendance  at  some  *  public 
or  other  daily  school'  of  the  numerous  'Vagrant  children  who  roam  about  our  streets 
and  wharves,  begging  and  pilfering;'  and  this  is  tortured  in  the  Catholic  petition  into 
a  desire  of  '  abridging  the  private  liberties  of  their  fellow-citizena,'  and  an  acknowledg- 
ment, on  the  part  of  the  Trustees,  *  that  they  had  not  the  confidence  of  the  poor.'  " 

Yet  I  should  think,  gentlemen,  such  a  reluctance  to  attend  their  schools  as 
to  make  it  necessary  to  apply  for  a  legal  enactment  to  procure  first  the 
money  and  then  to  compel  an  attendance,"would  show  that  they  did  want 
that  confidence.  I  know  they  have  not  the  confidence  of  our  body.  Yes, 
they  have  obtained  two  (enactments  from  the  Oommftn  Council,  depriving 
the  parents  in  time  of  need — even  when  cold  and  starvation  have  set  in  upon 
them — of  public  relief,  unless  the  children  were  sent  to  these,  or  some  other 
schools.  And  I  have  seen  them  urging  ladies,  in  their  public  document-,  to 
obtain  their  confidence  by  soothing  words;  and  I  have  seen  them  urging 
employers  to  make  it  the  condition  of  employment.  Yet,  after  all  this,  they 
pretend  that  they  have  had  the  confidence  of  the  poor.  I  do  not  say  that 
they  have  notmerited  it  according  to  their  views:  but  I  do  not  think  they 
should  expect  all  mankind  to  submit  to  their  views  of  the  matter,  to  the 
sacrifice  of  their  own.     They  say : 

"  The  records  of  the  schools  will  demonstrate  that  the  industrious  and  respectable 
portions  of  the  laboring  classes  repose  entire  confidence  in  the  public  school  system 
and  its  managers." 


Then  that  portion  in  behalf  of  whom  I  stand  here  is  not  to  be  classed 
with  the  "  industrious  and  respectable  1"  They  then  proceed  to  another 
point : 

"  The  subject  of  objectionable  matter  in  the  books  used  in  the  public  schools  is  so 
fully  discussed  in  the  papers  now  submitted  to  your  honorable  body,  that  little  more 
would  seem  to  be  called  for  under  this  head.  Finding  their  strenuous  and  long-con- 
tinued efibrts  to  induce  the  Catholic  clergy  to  unite  in  an  expurgation  of  the  books  un- 
availing, the  trustees  commenced  the  work  without  them,  and  it  is  now  nearly  com- 
pleted. If  anything  remains  to  which  the  petitioners  can  take  exception,  no  censure 
can,  by  possibility,  attach  to  your  remonstrants  ;  and  the  trustees  assert  with  confi- 
dence, that  if  any  has  escaped  them,  there  is  now  less  matter  objectionable  to  the 
Roman  Catholics,  to,  be  found  in  the  books  used  in  the  public  schools,  than  in  those  of 
any  other  seminary  of  learning,  either  public  or  private,  within  this  State." 

Now  they  could  not  adopt  a  worse  test,  for  I  defy  you  to  find  a  readinc; 
book  in  either  public  or  private  seminary,  that  in  respect  to  Catholics  is 
not  full  of  ignorance.  Not  a  book.  For  if  it  were  clear  of  this  it  would 
not  be  popular ;  and  if  they  refer  to  this,  then  they  refer  to  a  standard 
which  we  repudiate.  But  it  must  be  remembered  those  people  can  send 
their  children  to  those  schools  or  keep  tliem  at  home.  They  are  not  taxed 
for  their  support.  But  here  we  are  ;  it  is  the  public  money  which  is  here 
used  to  preserve  the  black  blots  which  have  been  attempted  to  be  fixed  on  the 
Catholic  name.  They  say  again,  (and  it  is  an  idea  that  will  go  exceedingly 
well  with  the  public  at  large,  for  it  will  show  how  amiable  and  conciliating 
are  these  gentlemen) — that  they  have  submitted  the  books  to  us  as  though 
we  have  nothing  to  do  but  to  mark  out  a  passage  and  it  will  disappear. 
But  are  we  to  take  the  odium  of  erasing  i)assages  which  they  hold  to  be 
true  ?  Have  they  the  right  to  make  such  an  offer  ?  And  if  we  spend  the 
necessary  time  in  reviewing  the  books  to  discover  passages  to  be  expurgated, 
have  they  given  us  a  pledge  that  they  will  do  it,  or  that  they  will  not  even 
then  keep  them  in  ?  Have  they  given  us  a  pledge  that  they  will  do  it  as  far  as 
their  denomination  is  concerned  ?  And  then,  after  all  the  loss  of  time  which 
it  would  require  to  review  these  books,  they  can  either  remove  the  objec- 
tionable passages,  or  preserve  them  as  they  see  fit.  An  individual  cannot 
answer  for  a  whole  body.  They  may  make  a  fine  ofiier  which  may  be  cal- 
culated to  impose  on  the  public,  but  if  we  put  the  question  if  they  are  able 
and  if  they  are  willing,  I  should  like  to  know  whether  they  can,  and  will, 
pass  a  law  to  show  us  that  they  arc  sincere  and  that  the  object  can  be  car- 
ried out  ?  That  would  alter  the  case ;  or  we  may  correct  one  passage 
to-day,  and  another  next  week ;  and  then  another  body  may  come  into 
power,  and  we  may  have  to  petition  again  and  again.  Could  they  then  do 
it  if  they  would  ?    And  should  they  if  they  could  ?     They  add : 

"In  conclusion,  your  remonstrants  would  remark  that  they  have  not  thought  it  ex- 
pedient, on  this  occasion,  to  enter  into  a  detailed  defence  of  their  conduct,  as  regards 
all  of  the  charges  preferred  by  the  Roman  Catholics.  Those  charges  are  before  your 
honorable  body,  and  the  trustees  will  cheerfully  submit  to  any  inquiry  that  you  "may 
see  fit  to  institute  in  relation  to  them  ;  and  even  if  it  can  be  shown  that  your  remon- 
strants are  as  '  eminently  incompetent  to  the  superintendence  of  public  education  '  as 
the  petition  of  the  Roman  Catholics  intimates,  it  would  not,  they  respectfully  suggest 
furnish  any  apology  for  breaking  down  one  of  the  most  important  bulwarks  of  the  civil 
and  religious  liberties  of  the  American  people." 

This  much  then  as  regards  this  document,  which  it  will  be  perceived 
goes  on  a  false  assumption  that  we  want  this  money  for  a  sectarian  pur- 
pose, because  it  was  so  referred  to  in  the  report  of  the  Committee  of  the 
Board  of  Assistant  Aldermen,  which  denied  our  claim ;  for  when  I  come  to 
that  it  will  be  found  that  every  proposition  in  it  goes  on  the  assumption 
that  we  wish  this  money  for  religious  purposes.  If  we  did,  it  would  be  iust 
to  deny  it  to  us.    But  I  will  now  take  up  another  document,  and  I  regret 


that  I  cannot  treat  it  with  the  respect  I  would  otherwise  wish  to  do.  The 
document  from  the  Public  School  Society,  however  it  mijrht  have  been 
led  aside,  and  however  feeble  in  its  reasoning,  contained  nothing,  I  trust  and 
believe,  which  was  intended  to  be  disrespectful  to  us.  It  wiis  couched  in 
language  at  which  I  cannot  take  oilence;  though  it  was  weak  in  its  prin- 
ciples, its  reasoning  was  decent.  I  cannot  say  as  much  for  tliis  wliich  is 
from  "  The  undersigned  committee,  appointed  by  the  pastors  of  the  Meth- 
odist Episcopal  Church  in  this  city."  They  commence  by  observing, 
'•That  they  have  heard  with  surprise  and  alarm" — they  should  have  seen 
our  petition  instead  of  taking  "  hearsay  "  for  their  authority — "  that  the 
Roman  Catholics  have  i-enewed  their  application  to  the  Common  Council 
for  an  appropriation  from  the  Common  School  Fund,  for  the  support  of 
the  schools  under  their  own  direction,  in  which  they  teach,  and  propose 
still  to  teach,  their  own  sectarian  dogmas." 

Where  did  they  find  that  ?  Where  did  they  find  that  statement  ?  I 
should  like  to  know  from  the  gentlemen  who  signed  this  remonstrance 
where  they  have  their  authority  for  such  an  assertion  ?  We  disclaim  it  in 
the  petition  against  which  they  remonstrate.  It  shows  then  how  much 
trust  can  be  placed  in  "hearsay,"  when  they  should  and  might  have  exam- 
ined the  petition  against  which  they  remonstrate,  in  which  they  can  find 
no  such  thing. 

"In  which  they  te.ich,  and  propose  still  to  teach,  their  own  sectarian  dogmas  :  not 
only  to  their  own  children,  but  to  such  Protestant  children  as  they  may  find  meaus  to 
get  into  thesfe  schools." 

I  ask  these  gentlemen  again  what  authority  they  have  for  such  an  asser- 
tion ?  I  should  like  to  see  the  argument  which  gives  them  their  authority 
to  use  language  and  to  make  a  statement  so  palpably  false  as  this  is. 

"  Your  memorialists  had  hoped  that  the  clear,  cogent,  and  unanswerable  arguments, 
by  which  the  former  application  for  this  purpose  was  resisted,  would  have  saved  the 
Common  Council  from  further  importunity." 

We  shall  see  whether  the  arguments  were  so  clear,  cogent,  and  unan- 
swerable by  and  by. 

"  It  was  clearly  shown,  that  the  Council  could  not  legally  make  any  sectarian  appro- 
priation of  the  public  funds;  and  it  was  clearly  shown  that  it  would  be  utterly  destruc- 
tive of  the  whole  scheme  of  public  school  instruction  to  do  so,  even  if  it  could  be 
legally  done.  But  it  seems  that  neither  the  constitution  of  the  State,  nor  the  public 
welfare  are  to  be  regarded,  when  they  stand  in  the  way  of  Romon  Catholic  sectarian- 
ism and  exclusiveness." 

There  is  an  inference  for  you ;  and  a  very  unfounded  one  it  is  too.  "  It 
must  be  manifest  to  the  Common  Council,  that  if  the  Roman  Catholic 
claims  are  granted,  all  the  other  Christian  denominations  will  urge  their 
claims  for  a  similar  appropriation  " — And  I  say  they  have  the  right  to  do 
it,  I  wish  they  would  do  it,  for  I  believe  it  would  be  better  for  the  future 
character  of  the  city,  and  for  its  fame,  when  this  generation  shall  have 
passed  away.     If  they  did  claim  it  and  the  claim  was  granted,  then  an 

effort  would  be  made  to  raise  good  and  pious  and  honest  men.    

'■  and  that  the  money  raised  for  education  by  a  general  tax,  will  be  solely 
applied  to  the  purposes  of  proselytism,  through  the  medium  of  sectarian 
schools.  But  if  this  were  done,  would  it  be  the  price  of  peace  ?  or  would 
it  not  throw  the  apple  of  discord  into  the  whole  Christian  community  ? 
Should  we  agree  in  the  division  of  the  spoils  ?" 

I  am  exceedingly  sorry  that  the  gentlemen  who  drew  Up  the  remon- 
strance had  not  more  confidence  in  the  power  of  their  own  religious  princi- 
ple than  to  suppose  that  it  would  be  necessary  to  contend  violently  for 
what  they  call  the  "  spoils."  We  have  submitted  to  be  deprived  of  them  for 

]32  ae:;hbishop  hughes. 

years,  and  we  have  not  manifested  such  a  disposition ;  and  I  am  surprised 
that  they  who  understand  so  much  of  the  power  of  religion  should  attach 
so  much  value  to  the  little  money  which  is  to  be  distributed  as  to  suppose 
that  it  would  set  Christians— professing  Christians— together  by  the  ears  in 
its  distribution. 

"  Should  we  agree  in  the  division  of  the  spoils  ?  Would  each  sect  be  satisfied  with 
the  portion  allotted  to  it?  We  venture  to  say,  that  the  sturdy  claimants  who  now  beset 
the  Council,  would  not  be  satisfied  with  much  less  than  the  lion's  share ;  and  we  are 
sure  that  there  are  other  Protestant  denominations,  besides  ourselves,  who  would  not 
patiently  submit  to  the  exaction." 

After  what  they  have  said  by  authority  as  the  grounds  of  their  opposi- 
tion, where,  instead  they  should  have  had  history  for  their  guide,  I  am  not 
surprised  that  they  should  prophesy  in  the  matter.  I,  too,  may  prophesy 
and  I  will  say  that  the  "  sturdy  claimants  "  are  as  respectable  as  they  are, 
and  I  trust  it  will  never  be  attributable  to  us  that  we  claim  more  than  ia 
our  common  right,  and  if  that  should  be  violated  with  respect  to  the  Meth- 
odist Episcopal  denomination,  we  shall  be  far  from  the  ranks  of  those  who 
may  be  the  violaters. 

"  But  when  all  the  Christian  sects  shall  be  satisfied  with  their  individual  share  of  the 
public  fund,  what  is  to  become  of  those  children  whose  parents  belong  to  none  of  these 
sects,  and  who  cannot  conscientiously  allow  them  to  be  educated  in  the  peculiar  dogmas 
of  any  one  of  them  ?  The  diiferent  committees  who  on  a^former  occasion  approached 
your  honorable  body,  have  shown,  that  to  provide  schools  for  these  only  would  require 
little  less  t^an  is  now  expended;  and  it  requires  little  arithmetic  to  show  that  when  the 
religious  sects  have  taken  all,  nothing  will  remain  for  those  who  have  not  yet  been  able 
to  decide  which  of  the  Christian  denominations  to  prefer.  It  must  be  plain  to  every 
impartial  observer  that  the  applicants  are  opposed  to  the  whole  system  of  public  school 

Have  we  said  so  ?  And  on  what  a,uthority  have  these  gentlemen  the  right 
t.0  say  it  if  we  have  not  ?  Where  are  their  data  ?  And  yet  they  come  before 
this  Honorable  Body  and  make  such  assertions  with  the  sanction  of  their  whole 
church !  • 

"  And  it  will  be  found  that  the  uncharitable  exclusiveness  of  their  creed  must  ever  be 
opposed  to  all  public  instruction  which  is  not  under  the  direction  of  their  own  priest- 
hood. They  may  be  conscientious  in  all  this  ;  but  though  it  be  no  new  claim  on  their 
part,  we  cannot  yet  allow  them  to  guide  and  control  the  consciences  of  all  the  rest  of  the 

Why,  it  would  be  a  silly  and  absurd  thing  on  our  part  to  look  for  it.  But 
we  never  thought  of  it.  It  is  a  fiction  of  these  gentlemen's  own  creation.  I 
contend  we  ask  nothing  for  the  community  but  for  ourselves,  and  I  trust  it  will 
be  granted  if  it  is  right,  and  if  we  can  be  shown  that  it  is  not  right  we  will 
abandon  it  cheerfully.    But  their  assertion  is  wholly  destitute  of  foundation. 

"  We  are  sorry  that  the  reading  of  the  Bible  in  the  public  schools,  without  note  or 
commentary,  is  offensive  to  them  j  but  we  cannot  allow  the  Holy  Scriptures  to  be  ac- 
companied with  ifeir  notes  and  commentaries" — Have  we  asked  such  a  thing?  or  in  any 
way  solicited  it?—"  and  to  put  into  the  hands  of  the  children,  who  may  hereafter  be  the 
rulers  and  legislators  of  our  beloved  country;  because  among  other  bad  things  taught 
in  these  commentaries  is  to  be  foun^  the  lawfulness  of  murdering  heretics ;  and  the  un- 
qualified submission,  in  all  matters  of  conscience,  to  the  Roman  Catholic  Church." 

I  have  a  feeling  of  respect  for  many  of  their  denomination,  but  not  for  the 
head  or  the  heart  of  those  who  drew  this  document  up.  ^  Here  it  states  an  un- 
qualified falsehood.  Here  it  puts  forth  a  false  proposition,  and  that  proposition 
has  been  introduced  here  as  a  slander.  I  can  prove  that  it  is  so.  And  depend- 
ing on  the  confidence  here  reposed  in  me,  I  propose  and  pledge  myself  to  for- 
feit a  thousand  dollars,  to  be  appropriated  in  charities  as  this  council  may 
direct,  if  those  gentlemen  can  prove  the  truth  of  this  allegation  ;  provided  they 
agree  to  the  same  forfeiture  to  be  appropriated  in  a  similar  marner,  if  they  fail 


to  establish  its  truth.  If  they  can  prove  that  the  Catholic  Church  sanctions, 
or  has  made  it  lawful  to  murder  heretics,  I  will  forfeit  that  sum.  I  feel  in- 
dignant that  we  should  be  met,  when  We  come  with  a  plain,  and  reasonable,  and 
honest  request  to  submit  to  the  proper  authorities,  with  slanders  such  as  that, 
and  that  in  the  name  of  religion,  which  is  holy.  I  wish  them  to  hear  what  I 
say.  I  know  very  well  their  books  tell  them  so  ;  but  they  should  look  at  the 
original  and  not  at  secondary  authorities  when  they  assail  our  reputation  and 
our  rights. 

"  But  if  the  principle  on  which  this  application  is  based  should  be  admitted,  it  must 
be  carried  fur  bej-ond  the  present  purpose.  If  all  are  to  be  released  from  taxation, 
when  they  ciinnot  conscientiously  derive  any  benefit  from  the  disbursement  of  the  money 
collected,  what  will  be  done  for  the  Society  of  Friends,  and  other  sects  who  are  opposed 
to  war  under  all  circumstances  ?  " 

With  that  I  have  nothing  to  do,  and,  therefore,  I  will  pass  on  to  another 

*'  The  Roman  Catholics  complain  that  books  bav-e  been  introduced  into  the  public 
schools  which  are  injurious  to  them  as  a  body.  It  is  allowed,  however,  that  the  pas- 
sages in  these  books,  to  which  such  reference  is  made,  are  chiefly,  if  not  entirely,  his- 
torical ;  and  we  put  it  to  the  candor  of  the  Common  Council  to  say  whether  any  his- 
tory of  Europe,  for  the  last  ten  centuries,  could  be  written,  which  could  either  omit 
to  mention  the  Roman  Catholic  Church,  or  mention  it  without  recording  historical 
facts  unfavorable  to  thatChurch?" 

And  this  is  what  the  remonstrants  call  a  strong  issue.  They  assert  that  no 
history  could  be  written  which  could  either  omit  to  mention  the  Roman 
Catholic  Church,  or  mention  it  without  recording  historical  facts  unfavorable 
to  the  Catholic  Church.  If  this  be  the  case,  I  ask  you  whether,  as  citizens  en- 
titled to  the  rights  of  citizens,  we  are  to  be  compelled  to  send  our  children  to 
schools  which  cannot  teach  our  children  history  without  blackening  us.  But 
again  they  say, 

"  We  assert  that  if  all  the  historical  facts  in  which  the  Church  of  Rome  has  taken  a 
prominent  part  could  be  taken  from  writers  of  her  own  communion  only,  the  incidents 
might  be  made,  more  objectionable  tp  the  complainants,  than  any  book  to  which  they 
now  object." 

No  doubt  of  it ;  and  it  only  proves  that  Catholic  historians  have  no 
interest  to  conceal  what  is  the  truth.  But  I  contend  that  there  are  pages 
in  the  Catholic  history  brighter  than  any  in  the  history  of  jMethodism  ; 
and  that  there  are  questions  and  passages  enough  for  reading  lessons, 
without  selecting  such  as  will  lead  the  mind  of  the  Catholic  child  to  be 
ashamed  of  his  ancestors.  The  Methodist  Episcopal  Church  is  a  respecta- 
ble church,  and  I  am  willing  to  treat  it  with  becoming  respect ;  but  it  is  a 
young  church  ;  it  is  not  so  old  as  the  Catholic  Church,  and  therefore  has 
fewer  crimes  ;  but  I  contend  again  it  has  fewer  virtues  to  boast  of  And 
in  its  career  of  a  hundred  years  it  has  done  as  little  for  mankind  as  any 
other  denomination. 

"  History  itself,  then,  must  be  falsified  for  their  accommodation  ;  and  yet  they  com- 
plain that  the  system  of  education  adopted  in  the  public  schools  does  not  teach  the 
sinfulness  of  lying  ! 

"  They  complain  that  no  religion  is  taught  in  these  schools,  and  declare  that  any, 
evfen  the  worst  form  of  Christianity,  would  be  better  than  none;  and  yet  they  object 
to  the  reading  of  the  Holy  Scriptures,  which  are  the  only  foundation  of  all  true  religion. 
Is  it  not  plain  then,  that  they  will  not  be  satisfied  with  any  thing  short  of  the  total 
abandonment  of  public  school  instruction,  or  the  appropriation  of  such  portion  of  the 
public  fund  as  they  may  claim,  to  their  owu  sectarian  purposes?" 

All  the  time  they  go  on  the  false  issue.  They  charge  that  which  we 
disclaim,  and  they  reason  on  a  charge  of  their  own  invention,  and  which 
we  never  authorized.  Now,  as  I  have  a  word  to  say  about  the  Holy  Scrip- 
tures, I  may  as  well  say  it  at  this,  as  at  any  other  time.     Their  assumption 


is  that  because  the  Scriptures  are  read,  sufficient  precaution  is  taken 
against  infidelity.  But  I  do  not  agree  with  them  in  that  opinion,  and  I 
will  give  my  reason.  What  is  the  reason  that  there  is  such  a  diversity  of 
sects  all  claiming  the  Holy  Scriptures  as  the  centre  from  which  they  draw 
their  lespeotive  contradictory  systems— that  book  which  appears  out  of 
school  by  the  use  made  of  it,  to  be  the  source  of  all  dissension,  when  it 
does  not  come  to  the  minds  of  children  with  such  authority  as  to  fix  on 
their  minds  any  definite  principles  ?  As  regards  us,  while  the  Protestants 
say  tlieirs  is  the  true  version,  we  say  it  is  not  so.  We  treat  the  Scriptures 
reverently,  but  the  Protestant  version  of  the  Scriptures  is  not  a  complete 
copy,  and  as  it  has  been  altered  and  changed,  we  do  not  look  upon  it  as 
giving  the  whole  writings  which  were  given  by  the  inspiration  of  the 
Holy  Spirit.  We  object  not  to  the  Holy  Scriptures,  but  to  the  Protestant 
version  without  note  or  comment.  We  think  it  too  much  to  ask  Protest- 
ants to  relinquish  theirs  and  take  ours  for  the  use  of  the  public  schools. 
]f  we  could  ask  you — if  we  could  propose  that  you  should  take  our  book 
— if  we  should  ask  you  to  put  out  the  Protestant  Scriptures  and  take  ours, 
with  our  note-  and  comment,  do  you  think  Protestants  would  agree  to  it  ? 
Do  you  not  think  we  should  be  arraigned  as  enemies  of  the  Word  of  God  ? 
— for  that  is  one  charge  made  when  it  is  sought  to  denounce  us.  When 
we  speak  language  of  this  kind,  instead  of  understanding  us  according  to 
our  comprehension  of  the  subject,  they  charge  that  we  are  enemies  to  the 
Holy  Scriptures.  But  to  object  to  their  version  is  not  to  object  to  the 
Holy  Scriptures ;  and  I  am  prepared  to  show  them  that  no  denomination  has 
done  so  much  in  the  true  sense  for  the  Scriptures  as  the  Catholic  Church. 
The  remonstrants  add : 

''  But  this  is  not  all.  They  have  been  most  complaisantly  oflFered  the  censorship  of 
the  books  to  be  used  in  the  public  schools.  The  committee  to  whom  has  been  confided 
the  management  of  these  schools  in  this  city,  offered  to  allow  the  Roman  Catholic 
Bishop  to  expurgate  from  these  books  any  thing  offensive  to  him." 

And  now  they  go  out  of  their  way  to  sneer  at  us,  and  you  will  observe 
the  flippancy  with  which  they  do  it. 

'* But  the  offer  was  not  accepted;  perhaps,  for  the  same  reason  that  be  declined  to 
decide  on  the  admissibility  of  a  book  of  extracts  from  the  Bible,  which  had  been  sanc- 
tioned by  certain  Roman  bishops  in  Ireland.  An  appeal,  it  seems;  had  gone  to  the 
Vope  on  the  subject,  and  nothing  could  be  said  or  done  in  the  matter  until  his'Holiuess 
had  decided.  The  Common  Council  of  New  Tork  will  therefore  find,  that  when  they 
shall  have  conceded  to  the  Roman  Catholics  of  this  city  the  selection  of  books  for  the 
use  of  the  public  schools,  that  these  books  must  undergo  the  censorship  of  a  foreign 
Potentate.  We  hope  the  time^is  far  distant  when  the  citizens  of  this  country  will 
allow  any  foreign  power  to  dictate  to  them  in  matters  relating  to  either  general  or 
municipal  law." 

Prophets  again ;  but  not  prophets  of  charity.  I,  sir,  say  not  prophets 
of  good-will,  for  there  is  something  more  in  their  souls  than  the  public 
welfare.  There  is  something  in  their  insinuation  that  is  insulting,  and  a 
tone  which  does  not  show  a  mind  enlightened  and  enlarged,  and  an 
appreciation  of  equal  justice  and  equal  rights.  Just  their  way.  They 
hear  that  an  appeal  has  gone  to  the  Pope  ;  and  if  we  desired  to  appesl!, 
also,' we  should  claim  the  right  to  do  it  without  asking  permission  from 
any  one.  Catholics  all  over  the  world  do  it  when  their  consciences  make 
it  a  duty,  but  not  in  matters  of  this  kind.  "  These  books  must  undergo 
the  censorship  of  a  foreign  Potentate  1"  Now  we  regard  him  only  as 
supreme  in  our  Church,  and  there's  an  end  of  it. 

"  We  cannot  conclude  this  memorial  without  noticing  one  other  ground  on  which 
tlui  Roman  Catholics,  in  their  late  appeal  to  their  fellow-citizens,  urged  their  sectarian 


plaima,  and  excused  their  conscientious  objections  to  the  public  schools.  Their  creed 
is  dear  to  them,  it  seeiiia,  because  some  of  their  ancestors  have  been  martyrs  to  their 
faith.     This  was  an  unfortunate  allusion." 

Some  !  "  Some  of  tlieir  ancestors  have  been  martyrs  to  their  faith."  I 
speak  of  the  Catholics  of  Great  Britain  and  Ireland,  and  when  you  reflect 
on  the  bigoted  and  unjust  laws  which  Great  Britain  founded  against  all 
that  were  Catholics,  by  which  their  churches  were  wrested  from  them,  and 
a  bribe  was  offered  as  an  inducement  to  the  double  crime  of  murder  and 
of  perjury,  when  it  authorized  any  man  to  bring  the  head  of  a  Catholic  to 
the  commissioner,  and  if  he  would  only  swear  it  was  the  head  of  a  priest 
he  got  the  same  price  as  for  the  head  of  a  wolf,  no  matter  whose  head  it 
was — and  when  legislation  of  that  kind  continued  for  centuries,  this,  you 
must  agree  with  me,  was  being  martyrs  indeed.  But  when  have  the 
Methodists  shown  a  sympathy  for  those  contending  for  the  rights  of  con- 
science ?  When  the  Dissenters  of  England  claimed  to  be  released  from 
the  operation  of  the  "Test  and  Corporation"  act  by  which  they  were 
excluded  from  civil  office,  did  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church  assist 
them  ?  Not  a  solitary  petition  went  from  them  for  the  enlargement  of 
their  freedom.  And  is  it  a  wonder  that  we  look  to  conscience  and  admire 
those  who  had  the  firmness  to  suffer  for  conscience'  sake  ?  By  the  penal 
laws  against_Cjtholics  the  doors  of  Parliament  were  closed  against  us,  if 
we  had  a  conscience,  for  it  required  us  to  take  an  oath  which  we  did  not 
believe  to  be  true,  and  therefore  we  could  not  swear  it.  There  it  is,  sir ; 
it  is  because  we  have  a  conscience,  because  we  respect  it,  that  we  have 
suffered,  and  while  virtue  is  admired  on  earth,  the  fidelity  of  the  people 
that  are  found  standing  by  the  right  of  conscience  will  command  the 
admiration  of  the  world.  And  yet,  we  are  told,  it  was  an  unfortunate 
allusion ! 

"  Did  not  the  Roman  Catholics  know,  that  they  addressed  many  of  their 
fellow-citizens  who  could  not  recur  to  the  memoirs  of  their  ancestors  without 
being  reminded  of  the  revocation  of  the  Edict  of  ISTantz — "  the  massacre  of  St. 
Bartholomew's  day,  the  fires  of  Smithfield."  What  is  that  to  us  ?  Are  we 
the  people  that  took  part  in  that  ?  "  Or  the  crusade  against  the  Waldenses  ? 
We  would  willingly  cover  these  scenes  with  the  mantle  of  charity."  They  had 
better  not  make  the  attempt,  for  their  mantle  is  too  narrow.  "  And  hope  that 
Dur  Roman  Catholic  fellow-citizens  will-in  future  avoid  whatever  has  a  tendency 
to  revive  the  painful  remembrance." 

Let  them  enter  upon  that  chapter  and  discuss  the  charitableness  of  their 
religion,  and  I  am  prepared  to  prove — I  speak  it  with  confidence  in  the  presence 
of  this  honorable  .assembly — that  the  Catholic  religion  is  more  charitable  to 
those  who  depart  from  her  pale,  than  any  other  that  ever  was  yoked  in  unholy 
alliance  with  civil  power. 

"Your  memorialists  had  hoped  that  the  intolerance  and  exclusiveness  which  had 
characterized  the  Roman  Catholic  Church  in  Europe,  had  been  greatly  softened  under 
the  benign  influences  of  our  civil  institutions.  The  pertinacity  with  which  their  sectarian 
interests  are  now  urged,  has  dissipated  the  illusion." 

Sectarian  interests,  again,  although  we  have  disclaimed  them. 
"  We  were  content  with  their  having  excluded  us,  '  ex  cathedra,*  from  all  claim  to 
■  heaven,  for  we  were  sure  they  did  not  possess  the  keys,  notwithstanding  their  confident 

Why  they  need  not  be  Uneasy  about  our  excluding  them  from  heaven,  for 
their  opinion  is  that  they  have  no  chance  to  enter  if  they  have  anything  to  do 
with  us ;  and  therefore  our  excluding  them  is  of  no  avail. 

*'  Nor  did  we  complain  they  would  not  allow  us  any  participation  in  the  benefits  of 
purgatory — " 

Pray  what  has  that  to  do  with  Common  School  Education  ? 


"  For  it  is  a  place  they  have  made  for  themselves,  and  of  which  ftey  may  claim  the 
exclusive  property." 

Well  it  is  no  matter  whether  we  believe  in  purgatory  or  not ;  it  is  no  matter 
for  the  Common  Council  to  decide.  But  if  they  are  not  satisfied  with  our 
purgatory,  and  wish  to  go  farther,  they  may  prove  the  truth  of  the  proverb 
which  says  "  they  may  go  farther  and  fare  worse." 

"  But  n-e  do  protest  against  any  appropriation  of  the  public  school  fund  for  their 
exclusive  benefit,  or  for  any  other  purposes  whatever.  Assured  that  the  Common 
Council  will  do  what  it  is  right  to  do  in  the  premises,  we  are,  gentlemen,  with  great 
respect,  ^  our  most  obedient  servants,     N.  Bangs,  Thomas  E.  Bond,  George  Peck." 

And  now  I  have  gone  through  these  two  remonstrances,  both  of  which,  it 
will  be  seen,  refer  to  the  document  of  the  Board  of  Assistant  Aldermen,  and 
rest  their  opposition  on  the  same  ground.  Of  that  document,  I  will  pass  over 
the  introduction,  but  I  may  observe  that  its  authors,  by  what  influence  1  am 
unable  to  say,  have  been  made  to  rest  their  report  upon  an  issue  such  as  I  have 
already  described,  and  for  which  our  petition  furnishes  no  basis.  I  will  first 
call  your  attention  to  the  following  observations  : 

"  The  petitioners  who  appeared,  also  contended  that  they  contributed,  in  common 
with  all  other  citizens  who  were  taxed  for  the  purpose,  to  the  accumulation  of  the 
Common  School  Fund,  and  that  they  were  therefore  entitled  to  a  participation  iu  its 
advantages  ;  that  now  they  receive  no  benefit  from  the  fund  inasmuch  as  the  members 
of  the  Catholic  Churches  could  not  conscientiously  send  their  children  to  schools  in 
which  the  religious  doctrines  of  their  fathers  were  exposed  to  ridicule  or  censure.  The 
truth  and  justice  of  the  first  br-anch  of  this  proposition — ■ 

That  is  the  payment  of  taxes, 

— "  cannot  be  questioned.  The  correctness  of  the  latter  part  of  the  argument,  so  far  as 
the  same  relates  to  books  or  exercises  of  any  kind  in  the  Public  Schools,  reflecting  on 
the  Catholic  Church, was  denied  by  the  School  Society." 

Now  it  is  to  be  remembered  that  this  denial,  of  anything  objectionable  in 
the  books  of  the  Public  School  Society,  was  made  at  the  period  of  the  last 
application.  I  am  persuaded  those  gentlemen,  if  they  bad  known  there  was 
any  thing  objectionable  to  the  Catholics,  would  not  have  denied  it.  I  am  sure 
they  believed  there  was  nothing,  and  from  this  circumstance  I  think  I  may 
fairly  draw  this  inference,  that  they  had  not  paid  that  attention  to  the  books 
which  they  should  have  done,  knowing  the  variety  of  denominations  contribut- 
ing to  this  fund  and  entitled  to  its  benefits  ;  or  knowing  this  and  the  feelings 
and  principles  of  Catholics,  that  they  were  incompetent  for  the  proper  discharge 
of  their  responsible  duties.  It  is  only  on  one  of  these  two  grounds  that  I  can 
account  for  their  denial.  But  since  that  time  they  have  not  only  admitted  that 
the  objection  was  correct,  but  they  have  expunged  passages  from  the  books 
which  at  the  time  of  this  denial  they  said  did  not  exist.  I  shall  pass  on  now  to 
the  two  questions  on  which  the  decision  of  the  Committee  was  made  to  rest. 
The  first  is — "Have  the  Common  Council  of  this  city,  under  the  existing  laws 
relative  to  Common  Schools  in  the  city  of  New  York,  a  legal  right  to  appropriate 
any  portion  of  the  School  Fund  to  religious  corporations  ?" 

Whether  they  have  or  not  one  thing  is  clear  and  certain,  that  it  is  not  as  a 
"  Religious  Corporation"  that  we  apply  for  it ;  and  it  seems  to  me  that  this 
should  have  struck  the  attention  of  the  Public  School  Society,  and  the  other 
gentlemen  who  have  remonstrated.  'We  do  not  apply  as  a  religious  body— we 
apply  in  the  identical  capacity  in  which  we  are  taxed— as  citizens  of  the  com- 
monwealth, without  an  encroachment  on  principle  or  the  violation  of  any 
man's  conscience.  But  secondly  they  ask—"  Would  the  exercise  of  such  power 
be  m  accordance  with  the  spirit  of  the  constitution,  and  the  nature  of  our 
government  ?" 

Certainly  not._  If  the  constitution  and  government  have  determined  that  no 
religious  denomination  shall  receive  any  civil  privilege,  the  exercise  of  such 
power  will  not  be  in  conformity  with  the  spirit  of  the  constitution  and  the 


nature  of  our  government.  But  there  is  throughout  and  in  all  these  Jocuments 
a  squeamishness,  a  false  delicacy,  a  persuasion  that  eveiything  which  excludes 
religion  abroad  is  right  and  liberal.  It  would  be  unnecessary  for  nie  to  follow 
this  report  sentence  by  sentence  if  there  had  not  been  so  much  roiiance  placed 
on  it  by  those  who  have  remonstrated ;  but  a,s  so  much  consequence  has  been 
attached  to  it  I  will  call  your  attention  to  some  other  passages.  They  go  on  to 
say :  "  Private  associations  and  religious  corporations  were  excluded  from  the 
management  of  the  fund  and  the  government  of  the  schools.  Private  interest, 
under  this  system,  could  not  appropriate  the  public  treasure  to  private  purposes, 
and  religious  zeal  could  not  divert  it  to  the  purposes  of  proselytism." 

Why  there  is  nothing  of  the  kind  intended.  We  have  been  driven  by  the 
o)  ligation  of  our  consciences,  and  at  our  expense,  which  we  are  poorly  able  to 
bear,  to  provide  schools  ;  but  they  are  not  convenient,  they  are  not  well  venti- 
lated, and  are  not  well  calculated  to  give  that  development  to  your  young 
citizens  which  they  ought  to  have ;  why  argue,  then,  against  religious  corpo- 
rations, and,  in  treating  this  question,  bring  prejudices  into  view  which 
ought  to  have  no  existence  in  reality?  They  then  go  on  to  give  the 
history  and  origin  of  the  ijresent  law  and  of  the  Public  School  Fund,  and 
it  seems  that  for  a  period  of  time,  and  a  long  period, the  Legislature  desig- 
nated the  schools  which  might  participate  in  this  bountj'.  Each  religious 
denomination  provided  for  the  instruction  of  its  own  poor;  they  had 
Ijrovided  schools,  and  their  exertions  were  honorable  and  laudable.  The 
Legislature  granted  its  aid,  and  the  respective  Societies  were  encouraged  to 
go  on  with  the  good  work,  and  they  did  go  on  year  after  year,  and  then 
there  was  never  heard  that  disputation  which  appears  now  to  be  so  much 
dreaded.  There  was  not  then  heard  dissentation  between  neighbors,  or 
strife  between  societies ;  everything  went  on  peaceably,  and  why  ?  Because 
the  schools  and  the  citizens  were  not  then  charged  that  religion  was  a 
forbidden  subject.  Nor  should  you  now  make  it  a  forbidden  part  of 
education,  because  on  religious  principles  alone  can  conscience  find  a 
resting-place.  It  should  be  made  known  that  here  conscience  is  supreme — 
that  here  all  men  are  free  to  choose  the  views  which  their  judgments,  with 
a  sense  of  their  responsibility  to  an  eternal  weal  or  woe,  shall  offer  for  their 
adoption.  It  should  be  taught  that  here  neighbors  have  the  right  to  differ, 
and  whatever  is  the  right  of  one  must  be  recognized  as  the  right  of  the 
other ;  and  the  distribution  of  this  fund  will  be  better  calculated  to  benefit 
the  community  than  it  can  be  by  these  public  schools  where  everything 
seems  to  be  at  par  except  religion,  and  that  is  below  par  at  an  immense 
discount.  They  tell  us  then  that — "  The  law  was  imperative  in  its  char- 
acter, and  the  several  religious  societies  of  the  city  possessed  a  legal  right 
to  draw  their  respective  portions  of  the  fund  from  the  public  treasury, 
subject  only  to  the  restriction,  that  the  money  so  received  should  be  appro- 
priated to  the  purposes  of  free  and  common  education." 

But  that  '■^  right  to  draw'''  has  been  taken  away  ;  yet  there  is  nothing  in 
the  act  by  which  the  right  to  draw  is  taken  away  which  forbids  their 
I'eceiving  it  still,  if  in  the  judgment  of  this  Honorable  Body  the  circum- 
stances of  the  case  entitle  them  to  it.  It  is  not  an  impeachment — the 
legislature  had  no  intention  to  reflect  on  religious  bodies — it  liad  no 
intention  to  blackball  religion  in  the  Public  Schools ;  and  yet  that  view  has 
been  taken  of  it.  Such  was  not  the  case;  but  because  circumstances  had 
arisen;  and  what  were  they ?  "Why  gross  abuses  had  been  practiced  by 
one  of  the  religious  societies,  and — "  The  funds  received  by  the  Church 
were  applied  to  other  purposes  than  those  contemplated  by  the  act." 
~  Under  some  prfitext  the  favor  to  expend  the  school  moneys  had  been 
conferred  on  that  Society  in  a  way  that  distinguished  it  from  all  other 
Christian  denominations  and  societies  ;  and  the  other  seeing  this  privilege 


conferred  on  one  and  r-ot  on  the  rest,  ventured  to  remonstj-ate  with  the  Legis- 
lature ;  they  intimated  that  the  partiality  to  that  Society  of  Baptists  Tvas 
an  injustice  to  others,  and  they  remonstrated  against  the  law  conferring 
exclusive  privileges  and  against  no  other  thing  whatever.  _  And  yet  by 
every  document,  and  by  this  very  document,  it  seems  to  be  imagined  that 
the  Legislature  did  not  revoke  special  favors  granted  to  that  Society,  but 
withdrew  its  aid  from  all  Christian  churches ;  so  that  all  the  men  who 
remonstrated  against  this  partial  legislation  were  found  to  have  been 
themselves  deprived  of  the  privilege  which  they  had  enjoyed,  and  this  on 
the  strength  of  their  own  remonstrances  for  quite  another  thing.  And  the 
discretion  which  the  Legislature  had  exercised  to  designate  the  schools 
\vhich  should  receive  this  fund  was  transferred  to  this  Honorable  Body, 
the  Common  Council  of  the  City  of  New  York.  And  why  was  it  trans- 
lerred  ?  I  cannot  speak  positively,  but  while  it  seems  to  me  that  there 
were  abuses  shown  to  exist  by  the  remonstrants,  of  which  they  made  com- 
plaint, we  may  suppose  the  Legislature  conceived  it  difficult  for  them  to 
take  cognizance  of  the  matter,  not  being  on  the  spot,  but  that  the  Common 
Council  being  here,  and  being  a  body  chosen  by  the  people  in  which,  con- 
sequently, the  public  would  have  confidence,  was  the  best  and  most  fitting 
body  to  designate  from  time  to  time  the  institutions  or  schools  which 
should  be  entitled  to  receive  those  school  moneys.  This  must  have  been 
their  intention,  and  yet  this  has  been  interpreted  as  repealing  the  law  in 
order  to  deprive  those  denominations  of  a  legal  right  (for  right  they  had, 
and  they  could  come  and  demand  the  money)  and  not  a  mere  transfer  of 
the  discretion  to  give  this  money  from  the  Legislature  to  the  Common 
Council  of  New  York.  Now  all  this,  which  is  so  plain  and  simple  has 
been  construed  by  these  gentlemen  of  the  Public  School  Society  as  what  ? 
As  conferring  a  monopoly  upon  thein.  As  a  law  disqualifying  all  religious 
denominations  receiving  it.  So  it  has  been  interpreted.  But  if  it  were 
so,  we  ask  not  for  the  money  on  the  ground  that  we  are  a  religious  corpora- 
tion, but  of  public  utility,  for  the  purpose  of  giving  an  education  to  a 
large  and  destitute  class  which  otherwise  will  not  have  the  means  to  pro- 
cure it.  We  ask  it  to  secure  a  public  advantage,  and  if  the  objections 
anywhere  exist  to  which  I  have  directed  your  attention,  they  do  not  apply 
to  our  case.  Gentlemen,  I  think  it  unnecessary  to  detain  you  any  longer 
on  this  subject  as  referred  to  in  this  document,  because  while  the  question 
is  composed  of  one  simple  fact,  they  are  arguing  against  dangers  which 
do  not  threaten  them.  But  then  they  go  on  to  say,  "  to  prevent  in  our 
day  and  country,  the  recurrence  of  scenes  so  abhorrent  to  every  principle 
of  justice,  humanity,  and  right,  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States,  and 
of  the  several  States,  have  declared  in  some  form  or  other,  that  there 
should  be  no  establishment  of  religion  by  law ;  that  the  affairs  of  the 
State  should  be  kept  entirely  distinct  from,  and  unconnected  with  those 
of  the  Church ;  that  every  human  being  should  worship  God,  according 
to  the  dictates  o*f  his  own  conscience ;  that  all  churches  and  religions 
should  be  supported  by  voluntary  contribution ;  and  that  no  tax  should 
ever  be  imposed  for  the  benefit  of  any  denomination  of  religion,  for  any 
cause,  or  under  any  pretence  whatever." 

All  this  is  doctrine  to  which  we  subscriGe  most  heartily.  And  while 
we  seek  to  be  relieved  from  the  evils  under  which  we  suffer,  wo  do  not 
seek  relief  to  the  detriment  of  any  other  sect.  AVhat !  is  this  country 
independent  of  religion  ?  Is  it  a  country  of  Atheism,  or  of  an  Established 
Religion  ?  Neither  the  one  nor  the  other ;  but  a  country  which  makes  no 
law  for  religion,  but  places  the  right  of  conscience  above  all  other  authority 
—granting  equality  to  all,  protection  to  all,  preference  to  none.  And 
while  aL  these  documents  have  gone  on  the  presumption  of  preference,  all  ' 


we  want  is  that  we  ma,y  be  entitled  to  protection  and  not  preference.  We  want 
that  the  public  money  shall  not  be  employed  to  sap  religion  in  the  minds  of 
our  children — that  they  may  have  the  advantages  of  education  without  the  in- 
termixture of  religious  views  with  their  common  knowledge  which  goes  to  de- 
stroy that  which  wo  believe  to  be  the  true  religion.  There  is  another  feature 
connected  with  this  subject — which  is  the  definition  given  of  a  public  school 
such  as  should  be  entitled  to  this  money.  "If  the  school  money,"  says  these 
gentlemen, — and  I  must  believe  they  are  imposed  on  by  a  statement  which  is 
not  correct.  I  believe  if  they  had  known  the  true  statement,  they  would  not 
have  published  in  their  report  such  a  statement  as  this :  "  If  the  school  money 
sliould  be  divided  among  the  religious  denominations  generally,  as  some 
have  proposed,  there  will  be  nothing  left  for  the  support  of  schools  of  a 
•purely  civil  character;  and  if  there  should  be,  in  such  a  state  of  things, 
any  citizen  who  could  not,  according  to  his  opinions  of  right  and  wi'ong, 
conscientiously  send  his  child  to  the  school  of  an  existing  sect,  there  would 
be  no  public  school  in  which  he  could  be  educated.  This  might,  and 
probably  would  be  the  case  with  hundreds  of  our  citizens." 

Now,  let  me  for  a  moment  invite  your  attention  to  that  part  of  the  sub- 
ject which  I  have  now  tl*  honor  to  submit  to  you ;  and  it  is  that  part  on 
vrhich  all  these  documents  go,  that  religious  teaching  would  vitiate  all 
claim  to  a  participation  in  this  public  fund.  A  common  education,  then, 
as  understood  by  the  State,  is  a  secular  education,  and  these  documents 
contend  that  any  religious  teaching,  no  matter  how  slight,  will  vitiate  all 
claim  to  a  participation  in  this  fund.  Now,  the  Public  School  Society,  in 
their  reports,  have  from  time  to  time  stated  themselves,  and,  observe,  with 
a  consciousness  that  the  jealous  eye  of  the  community  is  upon  them — they 
state,  still  under  this  restriction,  that  they  have  imparted  religion.  Now, 
if  this  doctrine  be  correct,  they  are  no  more  entitled  to  the  Common  School 
Fund  than  others  ?  Or,  is  the  doctrine  correct,  and  yet  one  must  abide  by 
it  and  not  another  ?  Again,  these  gentlemen  charge  us  with  accusing  them 
of  teaching  infidelity,  when  taking  this  tax  they  give  that  education  which, 
they  state  to  us  when  we  apply  for  a  portion  of  this  money,  the  State  con- 
templates to  give  the  scholar.  Now,  if  the  child  be  brought  up  without 
religion  what  is  he  ?  "  Oh,"  they  say,  "  we  do  not  teach  it."  Is  it  neces- 
sary to  teach  infidelity?  It  does  not  require  the  active  process.  To  make 
an  infidel,  what  is  it  necessary  to  do  ?  Cage  him  up  in  a  room,  give  him  a 
secular  education  from  the  age  of  five  years  to  twenty-one,  and  I  ask  you 
what  he  will  come  out,  if  not  an  infidel  ?  Whether  he  will  know  anything 
about  God  ?  And  yet  they  tell  you  that  religious  teaching  is  a  disqualifica- 
tion. What  will  a  child  be,  then,  if  you  give  him  their  education  from  his  youth 
up  to  the  age  of  twenty-one  ?  Will  he  know  anything  of  God,  and  of  a  Divine 
Kedeemer  ?  of  a  Trinity,  of  the  incarnation  of  the  Saviour,  and  the  redemption 
of  the  world  by  the  atonement  of  Christ,  or  of  any  of  those  grand  doctrines 
which  are  the  basis  and  corner-stone  of  our  Christianity  ?  And  because  we 
object  to  a  system  of  teaching  which  leads  to  practical  infidelity,  we  are  ac- 
cused of  charging  the  Public  School  Society  with  being  infidels.  They  furnish 
the  basis  of  the  charge;  we  do  not  wish  to  do  so.  Now,  I  ask  you  whether  it 
was  the  intention  of  the  Legislature  of  New  York,  or  of  the  people  of  the  State, 
that  the  Public -Schools  should  be  made  precisely  such  as  the  infidels  want  ? 
Permit  me  to  say,  when  I  use  the  term  infidel,  I  mean  no  disrespect  to  those 
that  are  so.  I  would  not  be  one ;  but  I  respect  their  right  to  be  what  they 
please.  A  few  days  ago,  a  gentleman,  who  professes  to  be"  one  of  this  class, 
and  who  would  not  allow  his  children  to  be  scholars  where  religion  is  taught 
at  alj,  said  he  could  send  them  to  the  Public  School,  for  there  the  education 
suited  him.  What,  then,  is  the  consequence?  That  while  the  public  educa' 
tion  of  New  York  is  guarded  in  such  a  manner  as  to  suit  the  infidel,  the  chil- 


dren  become  so.  And  is  there  any  authority  in  this  Board,  or  of  a  legislative  body 
iit  Albany,  or  is  there  any  Board  in  the  Union,  with  power  by  the  constitution, 
to  oxclude  religion  or  to  engraft  it  ?  Neither  the  one  nor  the  other.  Ihe  in- 
fidel s.iys  truly,  that  there  is  no  rehgion  taught,  and,  therefore,  he  can  send  his 
children  ;  and  I  should  like  to  know  why  any  member  of  a  Christian  church 
should  be  forced  to  do  violence  to  his  convictions  and  not  be  permitted  to  en- 
joy equal  advantages  ?  If  the  infidel  can  send  his  children  to  these  schoolsbe- 
cause  no  religion  is  taught  there,  and  who,  therefore,  has  to  make  no  sacrifaces 
of  conscience,  why  cannot  the  Christian  enjoy  equal  advantages  ?  They  say 
their  instruction  is  not  sectarianism  ;  but  it  is  ;  and  of  what  kind  ?  The  sec- 
tarianism of  infidehty  in  its  every  feature.  But  becau*e  it  is  of  a  negative  kind, 
and  they  do  not  admit  the  doctrines  of  any  particular  denomination,  because 
they  do  not  profess  to  teach  religion,  therefore  it  is  suited  for  all !  As  a  test, 
therefore,  of  this  principle,  give  this  purely  secular  knowledge  to  a  young  man, 
keep  him  from  intercourse  with  the  rest  of  the  world,  give  him  nothing  else, 
and  what  sort  of  a  man  would  he  be  ?  What  would  be  the  state  of  his  mind  ? 
A  blank — a  perfect  blank  as  to  religious  impressions.  But  I  contend  that  it  is 
infidelity,  and  I  hope  the  Public  School  gentlemen  hear  what  I  say.  But,  again, 
I  do  not  charge  it  on  their  intention,  and  their  assertion  is  purely  gratuitous 
when  they  say  that  such  an  accusation  is  made  against  them.  Here  is  the  ob- 
servation of  the  report  on  this  subject : 

"  If  religious  instruction  is  communicated,  it  is  foreign  to  the  intentions  of  the 
school  system,  and  should  be  instantly  abandoned.  Religious  instruction  is  no  part  of  a 
Common  School  education." 

Such,  then,  is  the  nature  of  that  report  which,  I  take  leave  to  repeat,  has 
been  prepared  by  the  gentlemen  who  drew  it  up  as  a  committee,  under  the  im- 
pression fixed  on  their  minds  that  Catholics  want  this  money  to  promote  their 
rfeligion,  and  that  if  it  were  granted  to  us  others  would  want  it  for  their  respec- 
tive religions  also  ;  and  on  this  assumption  they  decided  ;  but  against  this  false 
issue  I  protest,  whether  set  forth  in  tliis  report  or  in  the  two  remonstrances  be- 
fore this  Council — one  from  the  Public  School  Society,  and  the  other  from  the 
Methodist*  Episcopal  Church.  It  is  not  my  business  to  speak  in  relation  to  the 
Public  School  Society  at  large.  Of  its  history  I  have  taken  pains  to  make  my- 
self suflSciently  possessed  to  speak  ;  and  I  find  that  in  its  origin,  so  far 'from 
disclaiming  all  connection  with  religion,  so  far  from  conceiving  rehgious  teach- 
ing disadvantageous,  it  was  originally  incorporated  for  the  purpose  of  supply- 
ing the  wants  of  the  destitute  portion  of  the  population,  and  their  petition  for  a 
charter  set  forth 

"  The  benefits  which  would  result  to  society  from  the  education  of  such  children,  by 
implanting  in  their  minds  the  principles  of  religion  and  morality." 

At  this  time  every  denomination  taught  its  own,  and  received  an  equal  por- 
tion of  the  fund  from  the  public  authorities  to  aid  them  in  their  good  work,  so 
that  their  children  were  provided  for,  and  this  Society  came  to  gather  in  the 
neglected  and  the  outcast — they  came  as  gleaners,  after  the  reapers  had  gone 
through  the  field,  and  a  most  benevolent  purpose  theirs  was ;  and  their  object 
I  repeat,  when  they  applied  to  the  Legislature,  was  set  forth  to  be — (for  thej' 
did  not  conceal  the  advantages  of  a  religious  education) — to  produce  benefits  to 
society  by  the  implanting  in  the  minds  of  such  children  the  principles  of  re- 
ligion and  morality.  There  wore  children  belonging  to  no  denomination,  and 
this  Society  seeing  the  benefits  which  would  result  to  society  from  the  educa- 
tion of  such  children  by  implanting  in  their  minds  the  principles  of  religion  and 
morality,  undertook  this  benevolent  work,  and  covered  themselves  and  the  name 
of  their  Society  with  glory  by  that  undertaking.  But  it  is  strange  that  what 
then  was  so  advantageous  to  the  community — the  implanting  in  the  minds  of 
children  the  principles  of  rsligion  and  morality — should  have  ceased  to  be  ao 


now ;  and  that  they  or  their  successors  should  seek  to  make  that  varj  thing  a 
disquahfication,  and  to  turn  it  against  all  denominations  of  Christians,  and 
cUim  themselves  to  monopoUse  the  fund  and  the  teaching  on  the  principle  that 
no  religion  shall  be  imparted.  Now,  has  the  Legislature  seen  lit  to  alter  the 
character  so  as  to  make  religious  teaching  a  disqualification  of  all  other  sects  ? 
Was  it  for  that  purpose  that  this  Society,  step  by  step,  obtained  enlarged 
privileges,  by  which  not  only  the  neglected  children  of  the  community,  but 
those  of  others,  came  under  their  care,  that  they  obtained  grants  from  the 
public  treasury  and  the  exchequer  of  the  city,  to  an  amount  of  many  thous- 
ands of  dollars,  until  the  Society  claims  to  he  the  true  and  only  Society, 
though  existing  as  a  private  corporation,  electing  its  own  body,  fixing  a  tax 
for  the  privilege  of  membership,  sometimes  $10,  at  others  $20,  |25,  and  §50, 
any  of  which  sums  is  too  much  for  a  poor  man  to  pay ;  and  out  of  this  or- 
ganized body  electing  the  Trustees  to  carry  on  the  work? 

I  mention  this,  not  to  blame  them,  for  they  believe  they  are  doing  good, 
out  to  show  that  even  with  men  who  are  honorable  in  every  day-life,  how 
much  watchfulness  and  vigilance,  how  much  tact  and  talent,  is  used  to  grasp 
more  and  more,  till  they  absorb  all,  and  completely  deprive  all  others  of  any 
participation  in  the  advantages  of  controlling  this  fund. 

It  is  not  my  intention,  as  it  is  not  my  peculiar  province,  to  enter  into  the 
legal  part  of  the  argument ;  but  I  have  to  regret  that  the  gentleman  who  did 
intend  to  treat  it,  and  to  whose  department  it  belonged,  has  been  unfor- 
tunately prevented  by  the  bursting  of  a  small  blood-vessel.  But  though  my 
experience  has  not  qualified  me  to  enter  into  legal  matters,  yet,  as  a  citizen, 
I  might  have  the  right  to  express  my  opinion  on  the  monopoly  which  this 
Society  claims ;  and  that  opiny)n  is  contrary  to  the  monopoly,  and  not  only 
contrary  to  their  monopoly,  smiply  regarded  as  a  monopoly,  but  because  I 
believe  that  a  monopoly  of  this  description  should  be  regarded  with  double 
jealousy.  "Why?  Because  this  monopoly  is  of  greater  weight  than  in  ordi- 
nary cases;  of  great  weight  pecuniarily — for  last  year  the  fund  amounted  to 
$115,000 — because  the  distribution  of  that  money  gives  to  them  a  patronage 
which,  considering  the  weakness  of  human  nature,  is  in  danger  of  being  used 
disadvantageously ;  because  it  gives  to  them  privileges  of  infinitely  higher 
*>  importance  than  any  that  can  be  estimated  by  dollars  and  cents — the  privi- 
lege of  stamping  their  peculiar  character  on  the  minds  of  thousands  and  tens 
oi^  thousands  of  our  children.  They  ought  to  be  men,  to  discharge  the  trust 
of  such  a  monopoly,  as  pure  as  angels,  and  almost  imbued  with  wisdom  from 
above — such  men  they  should  be,  when  they  would  venture  to  come  and 
stand  by  the  mother's  side,  and  say,  in  effect,  "  Give  me  the  darling  which 
you  have  nourished  at  your  breast — give  it  to  me,  a  stranger,  and  I  will  direct 
its  mind.  True,  you  are  its  parent ;  but  you  are  not  fit  to  guide  its  youthful 
progress,  and  to  implant  true  principles  in  its  mind  ;  therefore  give  it  to  me, 
and  give  me  also  the  means  wherewith  to  instruct  it."  That  is  the  position 
of  that  Society ;  and  they  ought  to  be  almost  more  than  men  for  this — as 
doubtless  they  are  honorable  men  in  their  proper  places;  but  of  that  we 
should  have  the  most  satisfactory  evidence,  that  we  may  be  well  assured 
that  they  are  fitted  to  discharge  their  duties.  It  is  this  consideration  that 
brought  me  here,  as  the  first  pastor  of  a  body  of  people,  large  and  numer- 
ous as  they  are  known  to  be ;  but  poor  as  many  of  them  arc,  and  exposed 
to  many  hardships,  they  have  children  with  immortal  souls,  whose  condi- 
tion is  involved  in  this  question,  and  if  it  is  an  impropriety  in  the  clerical 
character,  I  would  rather  undergo  the  reproach  than  neglect  to  advocate 
their  rights,  as  far  as  I  have  the  power,  with  my  feeble  ability. 

The  Catholics  of  the  city  of  New  York  may  be  estimated  as  one-fifth  of 
the  population ;  and  when  you  take  account  of  tlie  class  of  children  usually 
attending  the  Public  Schools,  and  consider  how  many  there  ar  j  in  this  city 


A9ho  are  in  affluent  circumstances,  which  enable  them  to  give  an  education 
I  to  their  children,  who  do  not  therefore  participate  in  the  teaching  ot  the 
Public  Schools;  and  when  you  consider  the  numbers  not  attending _ any 
school  at  all,  I  say,  of  those  people,  who,  by  their  poverty,  are  the  objects 
most  usually  composing  the  number  that  require  the  assistance  of  the  Com- 
mon SchoolFunfl, Catholics  are  one-third,  if  not  more.  And  when  I  see  this 
one-third  excluded— respecting,  as  I  do,  their  welfare  in  this  life,  as  well 
as  their  welfare  in  a  brighter  world— then  it  is  that  I  come  forward  thus 
publicly,  and  stand  here  to  plead  for  them.  I  conceive  we  have  our  rights 
in  question,  and,  therefore,  most  respectfully,  I  demand  them  from  this  . 
Honorable  Board. 

I  am  not  surprised  that  there  should  be  remonstrances  against  our  claim ; 
but  I  did  hope,  in  an  age  as  enlightened  as  this  is,  and  among  gentlemen 
of  known  liberality  of  feeling,  that  their  opposition  would  not  have  been 
characterized  as  this  has  been.  However,  it  is  not  to  me  a  matter  of  sur- 
prise; for  I  believe  if  some  of  those  gentlemen,  who  consider  themselves 
now  as  eminent  Christians,  had  lived  at  the  period  when  Lazarus  lay  lan- 
guishing at  the  gate  of  the  rich  man,  petitioning  for  the  crumbs  that  fell 
from  the  table,  they  would  have  sent  their  remonstrance  against  Ms 

When  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church  sent  its  petition  for  a  portion  of 
this  fund,  some  eight  years  ago,  then  it  was  not  .unconstitutional !  Yet,  did 
the  Catholics  send  in  their  remonstrance  against  it  ?  When  their  theo- 
logical seminaries  obtained  (and  they  still  receive)  the  bounty  of  the  State, 
did,  or  do,  the  Catholics  complain  ?  Has  there  been  a  single'  instance  of 
illiberality  on  the  part  of  the  Catholics,  or  a  want  of  disposition  to  grant 
rights  as  universal  as  the  nature  of  man  may  require  ?  And  I  have  been 
astonished  only  at  this,  that  good  men,  with  good  intentions,  should  prefer 
to  cling  to  a  system,  and  to  the  money  raised  for  its  support  by  the  public 
liberality — ^that  they  would  sooner  see  tens  of  thousands  of  poor  children 
contending  with  ignorance,  and  the  companions  of  vice,  than  concede  one 
iota  of  their  monopoly,  in  order  that  others  may  enjoy  their  rights.  I  say 
this,  because  I  am  authorized  to  say  it. 

And  what  am  I  to  infer,  but,  that  they  prefer  the  means  to  the  end.  The 
end  designed,  is  to  convey  knowledge  to  the  minds  of  our  children ;  the 
means  is  the  public  fund ;  and,  by  refusing  to  cause  the  slightest  variation 
in  their  system,  they  cling  to  the  means,  while  they  leave  thousands  of 
childl'en  without  the  benefit  which  the  State  intended  to  confer.  They  may 
pursue  that  course,  but  the  experience  of  the  past  should  have  tajight  them 
that,  while  they  maintain  their  present  character,  a  large  portion  of  their 
fellow-citizens  have  not— cannot  have — confidence  in  them. 

But  they  have  said  that,  if  a  portion  of  this  fund  is  given  to  Catholics, 
all  other  sects  will  want  it.  Then,  let  them  have  it.  But  I  do  not  see  that 
that  is  probable ;  and  my  reason  is  this :  They  have  sent  in  remonstrances 
against  the  claim  of  the  Catholics,  as  you  will  see  by  a  reference  to  docu- 
ment No.  80,  all  'of  which  go  to  prove  that  they  are  satisfied  with  the  pres- 
ent Public  School  System.  And  if  they  are  satisfied,  and  their  children  de- 
rive benefit  from  it,  let  them  continue  to  frequent  the  schools  as  they  do 
now.  The  schools  are  no  benefit  to  Catholics  now  ;  we  have  no  confidence 
in  them ;  there  is  no  harmony  of  feeling  between  them  and  us ;  we  have  no 
confidence  that  those  civil  and  religious  rights  that  belong  to  us  will  be 
enjoyed,  while  the  Public  School  Society  retains  its  present  monopoly. 
We  do  not  receive  benefit  from  these  schools :  do  not,  then,  take  from 
Catholic?  their  portion  of  the"  fund,  by  taxation,  and  hand  it  over  to  those 
who  do  not  give  them  an  equivalent  in  return.  Let  those  who  can,  receive 
the  advantages  of  these  schools ;  but  as  Catholics  cannot,  do  not  tie  them 


to  a  sj'stem  which  is  intended  for  the  advantage  of  a  class  of  societj  of 
which  they  form  one-third,  but  from  which  system  tV.  py  can  receive  no 

Tliere  are  many  other  topics  connected  with  this  subject,  to  which  I 
might  advert;  but  I  must  apologize  for  the  length  of  time  tluit  I  have 
ti-espassed  on  your  patience.  I  feel,  unaccustomed  as  I  am  to  address  such 
a  body,  and  hurried  as  was  my  preparation,  that  I  have  not  been  able  to 
present  the  subject  before  you  in  that  clear  and  lucid  manner  that  would 
make  it  interesting;  but  it  was  not  with  that  view  that  I  claimed  your 
attention  in  relation  to  it;  it  was  with  far  higher  motives:  and  I  now, 
with  confidence,  submit  it  to  your  judgment. 


When  Mr.  Ketchum  concluded  his  argument  on  the  first;  day,  the 
Rev.  Dr.  Bond  appeared  as  the  representative  of  the  Methodist 
Episcopal  Church,  but  he  gave  way  to  the  Right  Rer.  Bishop 
Hughes,  who  desired  to  make  a  brief  reply  to  the  two  legal  gentle- 
men who  had  addressed  the  Board.    He  said : 

I  have  a  few  remarks  that  I  wish  to  make,  partly  in  reference  to 
myself  and  partly  to  nly  principles,  and  the  views  submitted  with 
regard  to  those  principles  ;  but  the  debate  has  taken  a  raiige  too 
wide  and  too  legal  for  me  to  pretend  to  follow  it  throughotit.  I  am 
not  accustomed  to  the  niceties  of  legislation  or  the  manner  of  int-er- 
preting  statutes  or  acts  of  the  Legislature;  but  to  sum  up  the 
whole  of  the  two  eloquent  addresses  made  by  the  gentlemen  who 
have  just  spoken,  they  amount  to  this :  that  either  the  consciences  of 
Catholics  must  be  crushed  and  their  objections  resisted,  or  the  Public 
School  System  must  fee  destroyed.  That  is  the  pith  of  both  their 
observations.  They  ar-gue  that  there  must  be  either  one  or  the 
other  of  these  two  results,  and  those  •  gentlemen  are  inclined  to  the 
course  of  compelling  conscience  to  give  way,  they  being  the  judge 
of  our  conciences  which  they  wish  to  overrule ;  so  that  the  Public 
School  Society — and  I  do  not  desire  to  detract  from  it  as  far  as  good 
intentions  are  concerned — shall  continue  to  dispose  of  the  Public 
School  Fund  notwithstanding  our  objections  and  reasoning  on 
[which  they  are  based.  The  gentleman»who  last  spoke  appeared  to 
[imagine  that  I  wished  the  exclusion  of  the  Protestant  Bible,  and 
Ithat,  for  the  benefit  of  the  Catholics,  I  laid  myself  open  to  the 

144  ARCHBISHOP   hughes'    SECOND    SPEECH 

charge  of  enmity  to  the  word  of  Gocl ;  tut  I  desire  nothing  of  the 
sort.  I  would  leave  the  Protestant  Bible  for  those  who  reverence 
it ;  but  for  myself,  it  has  not  my  confidence.  Another  objection 
which  he  made  was  of  a  personal  character  to  myself;  but  while 
that  gentleman  started  with  the  beautiful  rule  of  charity  to  others, 
and  with  a  lecture  on  the  propriety  of  retaining  our  station  in  life_, 
and  the  impropriety  of  the  public  appeals  of  which  he  was  pleased 
to  speak,  I  regret  that  his  practice  was  not  in  accordance  with  his 
precept— and  that  .while  he  was  lecturing  me  on  the  subject,  he  him- 
self should  have  gone  beyond  anything  which  proper  discussion 
called  for.  If  I  attended  those  meetings,  it  was  because  I  felt  the 
evil  of  the  present  system  as  regards  us — -not  its  evils  as  regards 
others ;  and  we  must  be  permitted  to  be  the  judges  of  our  own 
duties,  and  to  see  for  ourselves,  while  we  accord  to  others  the  same 
right  for  themselves.  I  beg  to  disclaim  any  intention  to  overrule 
this  comraunity,  or  to  bring  anything  from  Rome,  except  to  those 
who  believe  in  its  spiritual  authority.  Consequently,  all  those  re- 
marks of  that  gentleman  have  been  out  of  place ;  and  for  the  rest,  I 
conceive  the  true  point  has  not  been  touched.  N"ot  one  of  our 
objections  or  scruples  of  conscience  has  he  undertaken  to  analyze, 
nor  the  grounds  on  which  they  exist.  When  I  gave  those  reasons 
for  our  objections,  I  thought  some  argument  would  have  been  urged 
fairly  against  them ;  but  the  only  end  the  gentleman  appears  to  have 
in  view,  is  the  preservation  of  the  School  Society,  and  to  maintain 
that  they  have  a  patent  right  to  the  office.  That,  I  know,  is  his 
object;  but  I  did  not  expect  to  hear  any  man  construing  the  law  as 
that  its  advantages, cannot  reach  us  unless  we  lay  down  and  sacrifice 
our  consciences  at  the  threshold.  I  have  spoken  for  myself,  and  I 
have  disclaimed  all  high-handed  objects ;  but  the  gentleman  insists, 
notwithstanding  the  pledge  which  we  have  given,  that,  in  spite  of 
all,  we  shall  teach  our  religion.  I  disclaim  such  intentions,  and  I  do 
not  think  it  fair  in  that  gentleman  to  impute  intentions  which  we 
disclaim.  The  gentleman  has  drawn  a  beautiful  picture  of  society 
if  all  could  live  in  harmony  (I  would  it  could  be  reduced  to  prac- 
tice), whether  born  in  foreign  parts  or  in  this  country.  But  if  all 
could  be  brought  up  together — if  all  could  associate  in  such  a  state 
without  prejudice  to  the  public  welfare,  while  the  Protestants  use 
such  books  as  those  to  which  we  object,  it  could  only  be  by  the 
Catholic  concealing  his  religion ;  for  if  he  owns  it  he  will  be  called 
a  "  Papist."  The  gentleman  says  that  one  of  the  books  to  which 
we  object  is  not  a  text-book  used  in  schools ;  but,  if  not,  it  is  one 
of  the  books  placed  in  the  library  to  which  I  do  not  say  we  con- 
tribute more  than  others ;  but  it  is  supported  at  the  public  expense, 
to  which  Catholics  contribute  as  well  as  others.  I  will  read  you 
one  passage  and  leave  you  to  judge  for  jourselves  what  will  be  its 
effects  on  the  minds  of  our  children.^  The  work  is  entitled  "The 
Irish  Heart,"  and  the  author,  on  page  24,  is  describing  an  Irish 
Catholic,  and  he  says :  "  As  for  old  Phelim  Maghee,  he  was  of  no 
particular  religion." 


And  how  do  the  gentlemen  describe  the  Public  Schools,  but  as 
schools  of  religion  and  no  religion !  They  say  they  give  religious 
instruction ;  but  again  they  say  it  is  not  religion,  for  it  does  not 
vitiate  their  claim. 

"As  for  old  Phelim  Maghee,  he  was  of  no  particular  religion." 

"  When  Phelim  had  laid  up  a  good  stock  of  sins,  he  now  and  then  went  over  to 

Killarney,  of  a  Sabbath  morning,  and  got  relaaf  by  confisning  them  out  o'  the  waj, 

as  he  used  to  express  it,  and  sealed  up  his  soul  with  a  wafer." 

That  is  the  term  they  apply  to  our  doctrine  of  transubstantiation ; 
and  they  want  us  to  associate  and  to  enjoy  everything  in  harmony 
when  they  thus  assail  our  religious  right. 

" and  return  quite  invigorated  for  the  perpetration  of  new  offences." 

ITow,  suppose  Catholic  children  hear  this  in  the  company  of  their 
Protestant  associates  !  They  will  be  subject  to  the  ridicule  of  their 
companions,  and  the  consequence  will  be  that  their  dt)mestic  and 
religious  attachments  will  become  weakened,  they  become  ashamed 
of  their  religion,  and  they  will  grow  up  Nothing ariuns. 

But  again,  on  page  120,  when  speaking  of  intemperance,  we  find 
the  following : 

"  It  is  more  probable,  however,  a.  part  of  the  papal  system." 

And  this,  notwithstanding  all  that  Father  Mathew  has  done. 

"  For,  when  drunkenness  shall  have  been  done  away,  and  with  it,  that  just  re- 
lative proportion  of  all  indolence,  ignorance,  crime,  misery,  and  superstition,  of 
which  it  is  the  putative  parent ;  then  truly  a  much  smaller  portion  of  mankind 
may  be  expected  to  follow  the  dark  lantern  of  the  Romish  religion." 

"  That  religion  is  most  likely  to  find  professors  among  the  frivolous  and  the 
wicked,  which  by  a  species  of  ecclesiastical  legerdemain  can  persuade  the  sinner 
that  he  is  going  to  heaven,  when  he  is  going  directly  to  hell.  By  a  refined  and 
complicated  system  of  Jesuitry,  and  prelatical  juggling,  the  papal  see  has  obtained 
its  present  extensive  influence  through  the  world." 

And,  unless  we  send  our  children  to  imbibe  these  lessons,  we  are 
going  to  overturn  the  system !  But  is  that  the  true  conclusion  to 
which  the  gentlemen  should  come,  from  our  petition  ?  Is  that  rea- 
soniiig  from  facts  and  the  evidence  before  their  eyes  ?  I  have 
promised  not  to  detain  the  Board,  and  therefore  I  would  merely 
say,  if  I  have  attended  those  meetings,  it  was  not  with  the  views  the 
gentleman  has  imputed  to  me,  nor  to  distinguish  myself  as  has  been 
insinuated.  I  have  taken  good  care  to  banish  politics  from  those 
meetings,  and  if  I  have  mentioned  the  number  of  Catholics,  or  of 
their  children,  it  was  to  show  how  far  this  system  falls  short  of  the 
end  which  the  Legislature  has  in  view.  I  disclaim  utterly  and 
entirely  the  intention  imputed  to  me  by  the  gentleman,  but  I  will  not 
longer  detain  the  Board. 

Mr.  Mott,  one  of  the  Public  School  Trustees,  with  the  permission 
of  the  Board,  explained  the  manner  in  which  the  book  which  the 
Right  Rev.  Prelate  had  last  alluded  to,  had  found  its  way  into  the 
schools.  It  was  one  of  a  series  of  tales  published  by  the  Temperance 
Society;  and  when  a  committee  was  appointed  for  filling  the  library, 

146  ARCHBISHOP   hughes'    SECOND   SPEECH 

their  attention  was  called  to  the  first  number  of  the  series ;  they 
had  read  two  or  three  of  them  which  had  come  from  the  press,_and 
as  they  appeared  adapted  to  the  reading  of  children,  the  committee 
admitted  them,  and  by  some  mistake  it  was  supposed  that  all  the 
other  volumes  of  the  same  series  and  under  the  same  title  were 
ordered  too,  and  they  were  sent  in  as  they  were  issued  from  the 
press  after  that  period,  and  in  this  way  the  book  in  question  had 
crept  in.  But  this  being  discovered  by  a  Catholic  Trustee,  it  was 
withdrawn,  and  of  this  the  gentlemen  were  fully  apprised,  and 
therefore  he  asked  if  it  was  generous  or  just  to  quote  that  book, 
under  these  circumstances,  to  strengthen  the  cause  of  the  Catho- 

The  Right  Rev.  Bishop  Hughes  assured  the  gentleman  that  he, 
until  that  moment,  had  not  ^eard  of  the  books  having  been  with- 

The  Rev.  Dr.  Bond  then  again  rose  to  address  the  Board  as  the 
representative  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church ;  but  as  it  was 
now  10  o'clock,  it  was  proposed  by  one  of  the  aldermen  to  take  a 
recess  until  Friday  afternoon  at  4  o'clock  which  was  agreed  to,  and 
the  Board  adjourned. 

■  The  Board  re-assembled  at  four  o'clock  on  Friday  the  30th  October, 
1840,  by  adjournment  from  the  previous  day,  but  some  time  elapsed 
before  the  debate  could  be  resumed,  in  consequence  of  the  difficulty 
which  the  gentlemen,  who  took  part,  in  the  proceedings,  found  in 
gaining  an  entrance  to  the  Council  Chamber,  through  the  greatly 
increased  crowd  of  persons  who  were  anxious  and  struggling  to  be 
present.  After  the  room  had  been  filled  to  overflowing,  many  hun- 
dreds were  still  excluded  who  desired  admission ;  but  the  room  was 
filled  to  its  utmost  capacity,  even  to  standing  room  in  the  windows, 
and  those  still  crowding  round  the  entrance  door  were  obliged  to 
endure  the  disappointment.  David  Graham,  Esq.,  Alderman  of  the 
Fifteenth  Ward,  presided  on  this  occasion  as  the  locum  (enens  of  the 
President,  Mr.  Alderman  Purdy,  who,  however,  was  present  seated 
with  the  Aldermen.  There  were  also  present  many  distinguished  and 
reverend  gentlemen  of  various  denominations  of  this  city,  besides 
those  who  took  part  in  the  discussion.  Dr.  Brownlee  was  seated 
near  Dr.  Bond  during  that  gentleman's  speech,  but  he  did  not  at- 
tempt to  address  the  Board.  The  Rev.  Dr.  Pise,  and  other  rever- 
end gentlemen  of  the  Catholic  Church,  were  seated  with  the  Right 
Rev.  Bishop  Hughes,  and  the  Very  Rev.  Dr.  Power,  and  many 
preachers  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,  were  in  the  vicinity 
of  the  orator  by  whom  they  were  represented.  "When  all  the  gen- 
tlemen were  seated,  the  President  called  upon  the  Rev.  Dr.  Bond, 
of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,  to  proceed  with  the  debate  on 
behalf  of  the  remonstrants  of  that  body.  When  Drs.  Bond,  Knox, 
Reese  and  Bangs  had  addressed  the  Council,  Dr.  Spring,  of  the  Brick 
Presbyterian  Church  arose,  and  in  the  course  of  his  remarks,  said : 
'IThe  gentleman  has  sought  to  prove  that  the  present^system  leads  to 
infidelity.   Now,  sir,  let  no  man  think  it  strange  that  I  should  prefer  infr 


tlelliy  to  Catholicism.  Even  a  mind  as  acute  as  Voltaire's  came  to 
the  conclusion  that,  if  there  was  no  alternative  between  infidelity 
and  the  dogmas  of  the  Catholic  Church,  he  should  choose  infidelity. 
/  loovld  choose,  sir,  in  similar  circumstances,  to  be  infidel  io-morroiv." 
At  the  conclusion  of  Dr.  Spring's  harangue,  the  President  called 
upon  the  Right  Rev.  Dr.  Hughes  to  conclude  the  debate,  who  im- 
meditately  arose  to  reply  to  the  arguments  of  all  the  gentlemen 
w,ho  had  been  heard  on  the  subject,  and  spoke  as  follows  : 

Mr.  President,  it  would  require  a  mind  of  much  greater  capacity 
than  mine  to  arrange  and  mature  the  topics,  relevant  or  otherwise, 
that  have  been  introduced  into  this  discussion,  since  I  had  the  honor 
to  address  you  yesterday.  No  less  than  seven  or  eight  gentlemen 
of  great  ability  have  presented  their  respective  views  on  the  subject, 
and  not  only  on  the  subject  in  regard  to  its  intrinsic  merits,  but  on 
subjects  which  they  deemed,  at  least,  collateral,  but  which  I  think 
quite  irrelevant.  The  gentleman  who  last  addressed  you  (Dr. 
Spring)  is  entitled  to  my  acknowledgments  for  the  candor  with 
which  he  expressed  his  sentiments  in  reference  to  it ;  namely,  that 
he  was  opposed  to  it  more  because  it  came  from  Catholics,  than  if 
it  had  been  presented  by  any  other  denomination.  That  gentleman 
is  entitled  to  my  acknowledgment,  and  I  award  it,  if  worthy  df  his 
acceptance.  The  subject — for  it  is  exceedingly. important  that  the 
subject  should  be  kept  in  view — is  one,  as  I  stated  before,  that  is 
very  simple.  We  are  a  portion  of  this  community ;  we  desire  to 
bo  nothing  greater  than  any  other  portion ;  we  are  not  content  to 
be  made  less.  There  is  nothing,  sir,  in  that  system  of  the  Public 
School  Society  against  which  any  of  the  gentlemen  who  have 
spoken,  either  in  their  individual  capacity  or  as  the  representatives 
of  bodies  of  people,  have  urged  a  single  conscientious  objection, 
and,  of  course,  they  have  no  right  to  complain— they  are  satisfied, 
and,  therefore,  I  am  willing  that  they  should  have  the  system,  but  I 
am  not  willing  that  they  should  press  it  upon  me,  and  for  good 
reason.  And,  sir,  if  this  honorable  body  rejects  the  claim  of  your 
petitioners,  what  is  the  issue  ?  That  we  are  deprived  of  the  bene- 
fits to  which  we  are  entitled,  and  that  we  are  not  one  iota  worse 
than  we  were  before.  That  is  our  consolation.  But  the  whole 
range  of  the  argument  of  the  gentleman,  who  spoke  last,  was,  to 
show  that  this  Public  School  System  was  got  up  with  the  concur- 
rence of  public  opinion,  and  that  having  been  so  got  up,  it  had 
worked  beautifully,  and  that  gentlemen  who  never  heard  of  con- 
scientious objections  to  it,  because  it  suits  their  views,  deem  it 
wonderful  that  we  can  have  any  conscience  at  all  on  the  subject. 
That  is  the  amount  of  it.  What !  no  ground  for  conscientious  ob- 
jection, when  you  teach  our  children  in  those  schools  that  "  the 
deceitful  Catholics  "  burned  John  Huss  at  the  stake,  for  conscience, 
when  evidences  are  numerous  before  you  of  a  more  just  and  a  more 
honorable  character — when  you  might  find  on  the  page  of  history, 
that  in  Catholic  Poland  every  avenue  to  dignity  in  the  state  was 
opened  to  Protestants,  by  the  concurrent  vote  of  eight  Catholic 

148  AECHBISHOP   hughes'   SECOND   SPEECH 

Bishops,  whilst  the  vote  of  any  one  of  thorn,  according  to  the  con- 
stitution of  the  PoHsh  Diet,  of  which  they  were  members,  could 
have  prevented  the  law  being  passed — and  what  is  more,  when  the 
first  lesson  of  universal  toleration  and  freedom  of  conscience  the 
world  was  ever  called  to  learn,  was  set  by  the  Catholics  of  Mary- 
land—I  speak  in  the  presence  of  gentlemen  who  can  contradict  me 
if  they  know  where  to  find  the  authority — and  what  was  this  but 
homage  to  the  majesty  of  conscience,  by  a  Church  which  they  wish 
to  establish  as  a  persecuting  Church.     That  Church,  sir,  which  the 
gentleman  has  come  here  to  prove  justifies  the  murdering  of  here- 
tics, was  the  first  to  teach  a  lesson  which  Protestants  have  been 
slow  to  learn  and  imitate,  but  which  the  reUgion  they  profess  should 
have  taught  them.     But  not  these  examples  alone ;  there  are  hun- 
dreds more.     At  this  day  in  Belgium,  where  Protestants  are  in  a 
minority  of  one  to  twelve,  the  state  votes  them  an  equal  portion, 
and  where  their  clergy  are  married,  a  larger  portion,  and  that  with 
the  concurrence  of  the  Council  and  the  Catholic  Bishops.     The 
gentleman  need  not  tell  me  of  Catholicism ;  I  know  it  well ;  and 
what  is  more,  I  know  Protestantism  well ;  and  I  know  the  profes- 
sions of  good  will  of  Protestants  do  not  always  correspond  with 
their  feelings.    But  I  should  like  to  know  whether  or  not  in  Protest- ' 
antism  they  find  authority  for  persecuting  to  the  knife,  not  Catho- 
lics alone,  but  each  other,  even  after  they  have  proclaimed  the  right 
of  every  man  to  think  for  himself.     With  good  reason,  sir,  do  I 
contend  for  conscience,  but  theymay  think  a  Catholic  has  no  right 
to  have  a  conscience  at  all.    They  may  think  because  this  system  is 
beautiful  in  their  view,  that  this  pretension  to  conscience  on  the 
part  of  Catholics  ought  to  be  stifled,  as  a  thing  not  to  be  admitted 
at  all.     But  that  will  not  do.     Man  in  this  country  has  a  right  to 
the  exercise  of  conscience,  and  the  man  that  should  raise  himself  up 
against  it  will  find  that  he  has  raised  himself  up  against  a  tremen- 
dous opponent.     Now,  what  is  it  we  ask  ?     You  have  heard  from 
beginning  to  end  the  arguments  on  this  occasion,  and  though  I  may 
not  follow  the  wanderings  of  this  discussion  through  all  its  minute 
parts,  if  I  pass  over  any  part,  be  assured  it  is  not  from  any  desire 
to  avoid,  or  any  inability  to  refute  what  has  been  said  against  us. 
I  may  pass  over  many  points,  but  I  will  not  pass  over  any  great 
principle,  and  you  have,  no  doubt,  given  so  much  attention  to  the 
subject  as  to  enable  you,  if  I  should  not  recapitulate  the  whole,  to 
decide  justly.     It  has  been  urged,  that  if  you  give  Catholics  that 
which  they  now  ask,  you  will  give  them  benefits  which  will  elevate 
them  above  others  ;  but,  I  contend  most  sincerely,  and  most  consci- 
entiously, that  we  have  no  such  idea ;   and  when  you  shall  have 
granted  the  portion  we  claim,  if  you  should  be  pleased  to  grant  it, 
I  conceive  then,  and  not  before,  shall  we  be  in  the  enjoyment  of 
the  protection,  and  not  privilege,  to  which  we  are  entitled.     That  is 
my  view  of  the  subject ;   but,  I  have  been  astonished  to  perceive 
the  course  of  argument  of  the  gentlemen  who  oppose  our  claim, 
generally  speaking.     What  it  is  they  contend  for  I  cannot  deter- 


mine ;  but,  it  seems  to  be  the  preservation  of  the  existing  system. 
They  were  among  the  first  to  disclaim  the  doctrine  that  the  end 
justifies  the  means,  and  if  in  attaining  their  end  they  find  they  ear- 
not  reach  it  without  injustice,  then  as  conscientious  and  high-mind- 
eii  men,  the}^  should  have  paused  by  the  way,  and  have  ascertained 
whether  the  means  were  worthy  of  them  and  of  oui  glorious 
country.  Yet,  sir,  they  have  generally  overlooked  this,  and  it  is 
no  new  thing  to  find  that  they  have  labored  to  promote  the  benefit 
of  their  own  society,  at  the  sacrifice  of  the  rights  of  others.  Sir, 
it  is  the  glory  of  this  country  that  when  it  is  found  that  a  wrong 
exists,  there  is  a  power,  an  irresistible  power,  to  correct  the  wrong. 
They  have  represented  us  as  contending  to  bring  the  Catholic 
Scriptures  into  the  Public  Schools.  This  is  not  true ;  but,  I  shall 
have  occasion  to  refer  more  particularly  to  this  by  and  by.  They 
have  represented  us  as  enemies  to  the  Protestant  Scriptures  "  with- 
out note  and  comment,"  and  on  this  subject  I  know  not  whether 
their  intention  was  to  make  an  impression  on  your  honorable  body, 
or  to  elicit  a  sympathetic  echo  elsewhere;  but,  whatever  their  ob-, 
ject  was,  they  have  represented  that  even  here  Catholics  have  not 
concealed  their  enmity  to  the  Scriptures.  Now,  if  I  had  asked  this 
honorable  Board  to  exclude  the  Protestant  Scriptures  from  the 
schools,  then  there  might  have  been  some  coloring  for  the  current 
calumny.  But  I  have  not  done  so.  I  say,  gentlemen  of  every  de- 
nomination, keep  the  scriptures  you  reverence,  but  do  not  force  on 
me  that  which  my  conscience  tells  me  is  wrong.  I  may  be  wrong, 
as  you  may  be ;  and  as  you  exercise  your  judgment,  be  pleased  to 
allow  the  same  privilege  to  a  fellow  being,  who  must  appear  before 
our  common  God  and  answer  for  the  exercise  of  it.  I  wish  to  do 
nothing  like  what  is  charged  upon  me — that  is  not  the  purpose  for 
which  we  petition  this  honorable  Board,  in  the  name  of  the  commu- 
nity to  which  I  belong  ;  I  appear  here  for  other  objects,  and  if  our 
petition  be  granted  our  schools  may  be  placed  under  the  supervi- 
sion of  the  public  authorities,  or  even  of  commissioners,  to  be  ap- 
pointed by  the  Public  School  Society ;  they  may  be  put  under  the 
same  supervision  as  the  existing  schools,  to  see  that  none  of  those 
phantoms,  nor  any  grounds  for  those  suspicions  which  are  as  un- 
charitable as  unfounded,  can  have  existence  in  reality.  There  is, 
then,  but  one  simple  question — will  you  compel  us  to  pay  a  tax 
from  which  we  c^n  receive  no  beiftfit,  and  to  frequent  schools  which 
injure  and  destroy  our  religious  rights  in  the  minds  of  our  children, 
and  of  which  in  our  consciences  we  cannot  approve  ?  That  is  the 
simple  question.  Or,  will  you  appoint  some  other  system,  or  will 
you  leave  the  children  of  our  denomination  to  grow  up  in  that  state 
of  ignorance  which  the  School  Society  has  expressed  its  desire  to 
save  them  from  ?  Or  shall  the  constable  be  employed,  as  one  rever- 
end gentleman  seems  to  recommend  (Dr.  Bangs),  or  some  public 
officer  to  catch  them  and  send  them  to  school  ?  For,  from  this  mo^ 
ment,  in  consequence  of  the  language  used,  and  the  insulting  pas- 
sages which  those  books   contain,  Catholic  parents  ■will  not  send 

150  AECHBISHOP   hughes'   SECOND   SPEECH 

their  children  there,  and  any  attempts  to  enforce  attendance^  would 
meet  with  vigorous  resistance  from  them.  I  have  now  presented 
what  is,  in  reality,  the  simple  issue  ;  it  is  no  matter  whether  we  be- 
lieve right  or  not,  for  neither  the  Catholic  nor  the  Protestant  re,- 
ligion  is  on  trial  here ;  and  I  repeat,  therefore,  that  the  gentleman 
who  represents  the  Methodist  Church  has  taken  so  much  painsto 
distil  through  the  minds  of  this  meeting,  a  mass  of  prejudice^  which 
it  will  take  several  hours,  but  at  the  same  time  very  little  beside,  for 
me  to  refute  and  scatter  to  the  winds.  I  shall,  perhaps,  not  dwell 
long  on  that  part,  because  I  judge  it  is  irrelevant  to  the  case  in  hand, 
but  still  I  shall  feel  authorized  to  trespass  on  the  patience  of  the 
meeting  a  short  time,  though  but  a  short  time,  to  remove  the  im- 
l^roper  prejudice  which  may  have  been  created. 

He  says  that  the  people  have  a  right  to  interfere  and  to  give  to 
the  children  of  the  State  an  intellectual  education,  that  this  must  be 
carried  out  in  some  form  or  other,  and  that  this  system  is  as  little 
objectionable  as  any  that  could  be  presented.  That  may  be ;  I  do 
not  dispute  the  possibility  of  it,  because  it  is  unimportant;  but  if 
he  did  mean  to  contend  that  that  system  which  has  been  once  sanc- 
tioned must  continue  to  be  sanctioned,  although  its  sanction  was 
merely  by  the  tacit  consent  of  the  different  denominations,  and 
although  it  should  become  violative  of  the  religious  rights  of  any, 
then  he  goes  beyond  the  limits  which  even  the  Constitution  of  the 
land  has  made  sacred.  I  have  been  represented  as  endeavoring  to 
create  excitement  on  this  subject.  To  that  I  shall  refer  imme- 
diately ;  but  I  may  here  refer  to  my  objection  to  the  existing  sys- 
tem, on  the  ground  that  it  has  a  tendency  to  infidelity,  and  may 
observe  that  I  know  clergymen  of  other  denominations  who  are 
also  opposed  to  it  on  the  ground  of  its  infidel  tendency.  There  are 
many  who  have  the  conviction  that  it  tends  to  infidelity,  and  who 
know  that  the  preventive  referred  to  is  not  equal  to  stem  the  ten- 
dency to  infidelity  which  does  exist. 

The  first  gentleman  who  spoke,  and  he  spoke  with  a  frankness 
and  sincerity  for  which  I  give  him  credit,  contended — and  when  I 
answer  his  objection,  I  wish  to  be  understood  as  speaking  to  all  that 
took  up  that  objection — and  it  wa^  urged  more  or  less  by  the  whole — 
that  it  was  inconsistent  to  charge  upon  the  system  a  tendency  to 
;■  ijfidelity,  and  then  a  teaching  of  religion,  and  that  this  teaching  was 
anti-catholic.  Now  this  would  b^  inconsistent  under  some  circum- 
stances; but  the  gentleman  left  out  the  grounds  on  which  that 
charge  was  made,  and  it  will  be  proper,  therefore,  that  I  should 
state  those  grounds.  In  the  document  which  emanated  from  the 
Board  of  Assistants  last  spring,  they  say  that  the  smallest  particle 
of  religion  is  a  disqualification,  and  that  "religious  instruction  is  no 
paj't  of  a  common  school  education."  Now,  was  it  the  intention  of 
your  honorable  body  to  exclude  all  religion  ?  Was  it  the  intention 
of  the  State  Legislature?  Did  any  public  authority  requii e  that 
the  public  school  education  should  be  winnowed  as  corn  on  a  barn 
floor,  and  all  religion  driven  out  by  the  winds  of  heaven  as  chaff  not 


■worthy  to  be.  preserved  ?  Was  there  such  authority  ?  Who  luado 
such  a  decision  ?  And  yet  that  very  decision,  I  ask  you,  if  we  are 
not  authorized  to  interpret  as  proof  of  the  charge,  that  the  system 
has  a  tendency  to  infidelity  ?  For,  banish  religion,  and  infidelity 
alone  remains.  And,  on  the  other  hand,  we  find  the  gentlemen  of 
the  Public  School  Society  themselves  repeatedly  stating  that  they 
inculcate  religion,  and  give  religious  impressions ;  and  I  say  it  does 
them  credit ;  for  as  far  as  they  can  they  ought  to  teach  religion. 
It  -would  be  better,  if  they  did,  for  those  who  are  satisfied  with 
THEiE  religious  teaching.  This  explanation  will  set  us  right  in  tho 
minds  of  your  honorable  body.  It  is  first  said  no  religion  is  taught 
and  then  it  is  admitted  that  religion  is  inculcated ;  and  next  our 
petition  is  opposed  because  it  is  alleged  that  if  our  prayer  be  granted 
religion  will  be  taught.  What  weight,  then,  is  the  objection  of  the 
Public  School  Society  entitled  to,  if  this  be  the  fact?  And  where 
is  our  inconsistency  ?  If  there  is  a  dilemma,  to  whom  are  we  in- 
debted for  it  but  to  the  Report  of  the  Board  of  Assistants  on  the 
one  hand,  and  to  the  testimony  of  the  JPublic  School  Society  on  the 
other.  Let  us  not,  then,  be  charged  with  inconsistency. 
■  Now,  sir,  I  contend  there  is  infidelity  taught.  I  do  not  mean  in 
its  gross  form ;  but  I  have  found  principles  ef  infidelity  in  the 
books — and  one  that  would  pass  current  as  a  very  amiable  book — a 
rehgious  lesson  which  I  would  not  suifer  a  child  to  read,  over  whom 
I  had  any  influence.  The  lesson  represents  a  father  and  his  son 
going  about  on  Sunday  morning  to  the  different  churches,  the  little 
boy  asking  questions  as  they  pass  along  from  one  to  the  other;  at 
last  the  boy  said  to  his  father — I  may  not  quote  the  words,  but  I 
shall  be  found  right  in  substance — "  What  is  the  reason  there  are  so 
many  different  sects  !  Why  do  not  all  people  agree  to  go  to  the 
same  place,  and  to  worship  God  iu  the  same  way!"  "And  why 
should  it  not  be  so '?"  replied  the  father.  "  Why  should  they  agree  ? 
Do  not  people  differ  in  other  things  ?  Do  they  not  differ  in  their 
taste  and  their  dress — some  like  their  coats  cut  one  way  and  some 
another — and  do  they  not  differ  in  their  appetites  and  food  ?  and  in 
the  hours  they  keep  and  in  their  diversion  ?"  N'ow,  I  ask  if  there 
is  no  infidelity  in  that  ?  I  ask  if  it  is  a  proper  lesson  to  teach  chil- 
dren, that  as  they  have  a  right  to  form  their  own  tastes  for  dress 
and  food,  they  have  the  right  to  judge  for  themselves  in  matters  of 
religion  ?  for,  with  deference  to  the  Public  School  Society,  children 
are  too  young  to  have  such  principles  instilled  into  them.  Let ' 
them  grow  up,  before  they  are  left  to  exercise  tEeir  judgment  in 
such  weighty  matters ;  at  least,  do  not  teach  Catholic  children  such 
a  lesson  at  so  early  an  age  ;  and',  in  all  I  have  said,  I  desire  to  be 
understood  as  abstaining  most  carefully  from  prescribing  any  rule, 
or  method,  or  book,  for  any  denomination  with  which  I  am  not  con- 
nected. But  for  Catholic  children  I  speak,  and  I  say  it  is  too  early 
for  them  to  judge  for  themselves.  And  is  this  all  ?  No,  sir ;  one 
other  passage,  and  for  that  'there  may  perhaps  be  something  to  be 
said  as  to  its  defence,  because  it  in  from  the  pen  of  an  eminent 

152  AECHBISHOP   hughes'    SECOND   SPEECH 

Protestant  divine,  the  Bishop  of  London.  I  presume  the  Bishop  of 
London,  when  he  wrote  that  passage,  must  have  been  writing  on 
some  subject  connected  with  infidehty  ;  he  must  have  been  writing 
against  infidehty,  and  indulging  in  a  range  of  argument  which  might 
be  proper  for  sucli  a  subject,  but  out  of  place  in  the  hands  of  com- 
mon-school children.  What  was  that  passage  ?  Why,  it  is  one 
which  represents  the  Divine  Redeemer  as  a  man  of  respectable 

Mr.  Ketchum  rose,  and  intimated  his  doubt  of  such  a  passage 
being  in  the  books. 

The  Right  Rev.  Prelate  continued.  I  have  read  it  in  their 
books,  but  the  Trustees  hare  recalled  them.  I  hope  not  for  the 
purpose  of  depriving  me  of  the  opportunity  of  quoting  the  page. 
Such  a  lesson  is  now  to  be  found  in  one  of  the  books,  which  repre- 
sents the  Divine  Redeemer  as  showing  uncommon  quickness  of  pen- 
etration and  sagacity.  I  ask  whether  such  a  lesson  is  a  proper  one 
for  children,  and  whether  such  is  the  instruction  to  be  given  to  them 
of  the  Redeemer  of  the  world  ?  The  gentleman-  who  first  spoke, 
said  it  was  not  in  reality  religion  that  was  taught,  but  mere  moral- 
ity that  was  inculcated — the  propriety  of  telling  the  truth  and  of 
fulfilling  all  moral  (pities.  If  this  be  true,  it  is  still  strange  that  the 
School  Society  should  prefer  the  word  "  religious."  He  did  not 
deny  that  it  Avas  a  kind  of  religion,  and  that  the  precepts  of 
the  Decalogue  were  inculcated,  and  while  the  Public  School  Society 
admit  that  religion  is  inculcated  —  and  the  legal  gentleman,  their 
representative,  does  not  disclaim  it,  so  far  as  it  forms  the  ground- 
work of  a  good  moral  character — it  may  be  taken  as  admitted. 
And  now,  if  they  teach  rehgion,  let  us  know  what  it  is  to  be.  Let 
them  not  delegate  to  the  teachers,  some  of  whom  may  teach  one 
religion,  some  another,  the  authority  or  permission  to  make  "  reli- 
gious impressions,"  to  give  "  religious  instruction,"  to  give  a  "  right 
direction  to  the  mind  of  youth,"  and  all  the  other  phrases  which  we 
find  in  their  documents.  Now,  on  the  subject  of  religion  and  morals, 
would  they  teach  morals  without  rehgion,  which  I  conceive  will  be 
found  as  visionary  as  castle-building  in  the  air.  Mr.  Ketchum  says 
they  are  taught  not  to  lie,  but  without  religion  he  furnishes  no  mo- 
.  tive  for  not  lying.  If  a  man  tells  me  not  to  lie,  when  it  is  my  interest 
to  lie,  I,  as  a  rational  being,  want  a  motive  for  telling  the  truth. 
My  love  of  gain  tells  me  if  I  lie,  and  lie  successfully,  it  wnll  add  to  my 
fortune ;  and  if  I  am  told  to  abstain  from  lying,  at  the  risk  of  my 
fortune,  let  me  have  a  reason.  But  if  I  am  told  there  is  God  to 
whom  I  am  accountable,  that  is  a  motive  ;  but,  then,  it  is  a  teaching 
of  religion.  Yes,  sir,  when  I  am  told  there  is  a  God,  I  am  taught 
religion ;  and  therefore  I  am  astonished  that  the  Report  Avhich  has 
gone  forth  from  the  other  Board  should  declare  that  the  smallest 
teaching  of  religion  vitiates  the  claim.  You  may  as  well  think  to 
build  an  edifice  without  a  foundation,  as  to  pretend  to  produce 
moral  effects  without  religious  belief. 

There  may  not  be  the  details  of  religion,  but  there  must  be  the 


principle,  to  a  certain  extent,  otherwise  you  cannot  lay  the  founda- 
tion of  good  morals  for  men.  Now,  sir,  I  will  show  you  that  Mr. 
Stephen  Girard,  of  Philadelphia,  who  had  no  religious  belief  what- 
ever, in  his  will,  by  which  he  bequeathed  large  sums  of  money  for 
the  purpose  of  procuVing  great  and  material  benefits  to  society — but 
which  has  been  looked  upon  by  many  Christians,  of  every  denomi- 
nation, in  Philadelphia,  rather  as  a  curse  than  a  blessing — even  he 
speaks  of  morality  without  religion  nearly  as  the  Public  School 
Society  does.     He  says : 

"  Secondly,  I  enjoin  and  require  tbat  no  ecclesiastic",  missionary,  or  minister,  of 
any  sect  wliatsoever,  shall  ever  hold  or  exercise  any  station  or  duty  whatsoever 
in  the  said  College ;  nor  shall  any  such  person  ever  be  admitted  for  any  purpose, 
or  as  a  visitor,  ■within  the  premises  appropriated  to  the  purposes  of  the  said  Col- 
lege. In  making  this  restriction,  I  do  not  mean  to  cast  any  reflection  upon  any 
sect  or  person  whatever ;  but,  as  there  is  such  a  multitude  of  sects,  and  such  a 
diversity  of  opinion  amongst  them,  I  desire  to  keep  the  tender  minds  of  the  orphans 
■who  are  to  derive  advantage  from  this  bequest  free  from  the  excitement  which 
clashing  doctrines  and  sectarian  controversy  are  so  apt  to  produce.  My  Hesire  is, 
that  all  the  instructors  and  teachers  in  the  College  shall  take  pains  to  instill  into 
the  minds  of  "the  scholars  the  purest  principles  of  imorality,  so  that  on  their  en- 
trance into  active  life  they  may,  from  inclination  and  habit,  evince  benevolence 
towards  their  fellow-creatures,  and  a  love  of  truth,  sobriety,  and  industry,  adopt- 
ing at  the  same  time  such  religious  tenets  as  their  matured  reason  may  enable 
them  to  prefer." 

He  left  two  millions  of  dollars  to  the  city  of  Philadelphia,  pro- 
vided that  poor  orphans  should  be  brought  up  to  respect  infidelity. 
He  did  not  say  a  word  against  religion,  but  he  took  care  to  stand 
by,  not  personally,  but  by  his  executors,  in  his  will,  to  prevent  its 
precepts  being  inculcated  in  the  minds  of  those  who  are  the  depen- 
dents on  his  bounty.  They  were  to  have  the  purest  principles  of 
morals  instilled  into  their  minds ;  but  the  attempt  is  vain  when  re- 
ligion is  not  placed  as  the  foundation  of  morals. 

He,  like  the  Public  School  Society,  stands  by  to  see  the  pot- 
ter shall  give  no  form  to  the  vase,  till  the  clay  grows  stiff  and  hard- 
ened.    Then  it  will  be  too  late. 

The  gentlemen  also  made  objection  to  our  schools,  because,  he 
said,  they  were  in  our  churches.  The  fact  is,  we  were  obliged  to 
provide  them  where  we  could,  and  our  means  would  permit ;  and 
there  are  some  of  them  in  the  basement  of  our  churches.  And  he 
conceived  it  impossible  to  keep  them  from  sectarian  influence,  be- 
cause the  children  would  be  within  hearing  of  the  chant  of  divine 
service  ;  as  though  sectarianism  depended  on  geographical  distances 
from  church.  But  this  could  not  have  been  a  valid  objection,  be- 
cause the  Public  School  Society  has  had  not  only  schools  under 
churches,  but  in  the  session  rooms  of  churches. 

I  shall  refer  now  to  the  learned  gentlemen  who  followed  him  (Mr. 
Ketchum),  and  I  can  only  say  that  this  gentleman,'  with  a  great  deal 
of  experience  in  this  particular  question,  really  seems  to  me  to  con- 
firm all  I  say  on  the  ground  we  have  taken.  I  know  he  lectured  me 
pretty  roundly  on  the  subject  of  attending  the  meetings  held  under 

154  ARCHBISHOP   hughes'   SECOND   SPEECH 

St.  James'  church.  I  know  he  did  more  for  me  than  the  Pope :  the 
Pope  "  mitred"  me  but  once,  but  he  did  so  three  or  four  times  dur- 
ing the  course  of  his  address.  He  read  me  a  homily  on  the  duties 
of  station  ;  and  he  so  far  forgot  his  country  and  her  principles,  as  to 
call  it  a  "  descent"  on  my  part,  when  I  mingled  in  a  popular  meet- 
ing of  freemen.  But  it  was  no  descent ;  and  I  hope  the  time  will 
ne\-er  come  when  it  will  be  deemed  a  descent  for  a  man  in  office  to 
mingle  with  his  fellow-citizens  when  convened  for  legitimate  and 
honorable  purposes. 

But  from  his  speech  it  would  appear,  that  his  experience  has  been 
obtained  by  the  discharge  of  the  duty  of  standing  advocate  of  de- 
nial ;  and  yet,  with  all  his  experience  and  opportunities  of  research, 
his  inability  to  overturn  our  grounds  confirms  me  in  the  conviction 
that  they  are  not  to  be  removed,  e\en  by  the  aid  of  splendid  talents ; 
for  that  speech,  like  most  others,  went  on  the  false  issue  that  we 
want  privileges.  But  we  want  no  privilege.  That  speech,  like  the 
speech  from  the  throne,  might  have  been  the  speech  of  years  past, 
and  might  have  been  stereotyped  ;  for  its  only  novelty,  which  proved 
to  me  that  it  was  not  all  the  work  of  antiquity,  was  the  part  which 
appertained  to  mysfelf.  And  not  only  that,  but  I  have  to  say,  that 
when  I  came  into  this  hall — and  it  is  the  first  time  I  ever  stood  in 
an  assembly  of  this  description — I  felt  that  I  was  thrown  on  the 
hospitality  of  the  professional  gentleman ;  and  I  think  if  I  and  that 
gentleman  could  have  exchanged  places,  I  should  not  have  looked 
so  hard  at  him  as  he  did  at  me.  In  fact,  throughout  that  speech  he, 
with  peculiar  emphasis,  and  a  manner  which  he  may,  perhaps,  have 
acquired  in  his  practice  in  courts  of  law,  fixed  upon  me  a  steady 
gaze — and  he  has  no  ordinary  countenance — and  addressed  me  so 
solemnly,  that  I  really  expected  every  moment  he  would  forget  him- 
self, and  say  "the  prisoner  at  the  bar."  (Laughter.)  He  did  not, 
however.  Pie  passed  that  over ;  and  whilst  I  recognize  and  respect 
the  ^'  human  face  divine,"  because  God  made  it  to  look  upward,  I  may 
here  observe,  that  it  has  no  power  to  frighten  me,  even  if  it  wdvld 
be  terrible ;  and  therefore  I  was  not  at  all  disturbed  by  the  hard 
looks  which  he  gave  me.  The  gentleman  will  pardon  me,  I  hope^  in 
this,  for  it  is  natural  enough,  after  what  has  been  said — though,  I 
know  it  was  said  in  good  humor,  to  claim  the  privilege  to  retort. 

Well,  sir,  this  was  not  all,  but  he  told  us  something  about  going 
to  the  stake.  He  was  sure,  if  any  of  the  public  money  was  voted  to 
the  denomination  of  a  reverend  gentleman,  whose  name  I  will  not 
mention,  the  Catholics  would  go  to  the  stake,  l^ow,  sir,  we  have 
no  intention  to  do  so.  We  know  the  public  money  does  go  to  the 
support  of  religion ;  it_goes  to  the  support  of  chaplaincies,  theologi- 
cal seminaries,  imiversities,  and  chaplains  of  institutions  whose  ap- 
pointments are  permanent ;  and  be  it  remembered,  that  one  of  the 
first  lectures  delivered  in  one  institution,  the  University  of  this  city, 
which  was  aided  from  the  public  funds,  was  on  the  anti-republican 
tendency  of  Popery.  And  yet  we  did  not  go  to  the  stake  for  that; 
and  why  ?    Because,  though  our  portion  of  taxation  mingles  with 


the  rest,  we  have  no  objections  to  the  use  of  it  wliich  the  law  pre- 
scribes, so  long  as  no  inalienable  rights  of  our  own  are  involved  in 
the  sacrifice. 

But,  again,  he  said,  if  any  of  the  money  was  appropriated  to  the 
Catholic  religion,  Protestants  would  go  to  the  stake.  I  will  not 
say  whether  Protestants  are  so  exclusive  ;  while  we  submit  to  taxa- 
tion for  Protestant  purposes,  without  going  to  the  stake,  whether, 
if  we  participate,  they  will  go  to  the  stake,  is  not  for  me  to  say. 

Then  he  came  to  the  Protestant  Bible,  "  -without  note  or  comment ;" 
and  "  it  was  hard  for  him  to  part  with  that  translated  Bible."  lie 
stood  by  it,  and  repeated  that  "  it  was  hard  to  give  up  the  Bible," 
just  as  if  I  had  said  one  word  against  it ;  and  as  if  I  was  about  lo 
bring  the  Pope  to  banish  it  out  of  the  Protestant  world,  or  wished 
to  deprive  any  man  who  venerates  it  of  any  Use  he  may  think  proper 
to  make  of  it.  And  there,  again,  he  looked  so  much  as  if  he  were 
in  earnest,  that,  at  one  time,  I  thought  he  was  actually  about  to  rush 
to  the  "  stake."  But  there  was  no  stake  there  to  go  to,  except  that 
which  he  holds  in  the  exchequer  of  the  Public  School  Society.  It  is 
a  most  comfortable  way  of  going  to  martyrdom. 

Sir,  the  gentleman  taunted  me  for  having  attended  the  public 
meetings  of  Catholics  on  this  subject,  and  he  imputed  the  prejudice 
which  exists  against  the  Public  School  system  to  the  observations  I 
have  made,  as  though  it  were  of  my  creation.  In  answer  to  that  I 
may  state,  what  has  been  the  fact  for  years,  that  Catholics  have  been 
struggling  to  have  schools,  and  to  the  extent  of  their  means  we 
have  them ;  and  what  is  the  reason  ?  Do  you  suppose  that  we 
should  impose  additional  burdens  upon  ourselves,  if  we  were  sat- 
isfied with  those  Public  Schools  ?  Do  you  suppose  we  should 
have  paid  for  our  bread  a  second  time,  if  that  which  these  schools 
offered  had  not,  in  our  opinion,  been  turned  to  a  stone  ?  No,  the 
existence  of  our  own  schools  proves  that  I  ha\e  not  excited  the 
prejudice  ;  but  still  it  is  at  all  times  my  duty  to  warn  my  people 
against  that  which  is  destructive  or  violative  to  the  religion  they 
profess ;  and  if  they  abandon  their  religion  they  are  free ;  but  so 
long  as  they  are  attached  to  our  religion,  it  is  my  duty,  as  their 
pastor,  as  the  faithful  guardian  of  their  principles  and  morals,  to 
warn  them  when  there  is  danger  of  imbibing  poison  instead  of  whole- 
some food.  That  is  the  reason ;  and  I  am  sorry  that  he  has  not 
found  a  motive  less  unworthy  of  me  than  that  he  has  been  pleased 
to  assign. 

Then — and  I  may  as  well  take  up  the  question  now  as  elsewhere — 
it  has  been  said  that  it  is  conceived  to  be  an  inconsistency  in  our 
argument,  that  we  object  to  the  Public  Schools  because  religion  is 
taught  in  them,  and  yet,  in  the  schools  which  we  propose  to  estab- 
lish, or  rather,  which  we  have  established,  but  for  -wjiich  we  now 
plead,  we  profess  to  teach  no  sectarianism ;  and  the  qtiestion  arises, 
"  if  you  are  opposed  to  religion  in  these  schools  because  it  is  secta- 
rianism, how  can  you  teach  religion  in  your  schools,  and  yet  your 
schools  n6t  be  sectarian  ?"    This  is  the  position  in  which  they  place 

156  ARCHBISHOP   hughes'    SECOI^^D   SPEECH  . 

ns ;  and  it;  answer  I  have  to  state,  that,  in  the  first  place,  we  do  not 
intend  to  teach  religion.  We  shall  be  willing  that  they  shall  be 
placed  nnder  the  same  inspection  that  the  Public  Schools  are  now; 
and  if  it  should  be  found  that  religion  is  taught,  we  will  be  willing 
that  you  shall  cut  them  off.  You  shall  be  the  judges.  You  may  see 
that  the  law  is  complied  with,  and  if  we  violate  it,  let  ns  be  deprived 
of  the  benefits  for  which  the  conditions  were  prescribed.  But  there 
is  neutral  ground  on  which  onr  children  may  learn  to  read  and 
cipher.  If  they  read,  it  must  be  something  that  is  written  ;  words 
are  signs  of  ideas,  and  in  the  course  of  their  instruction  they  may 
be  made  so  to  shape  their  studies  as  to  loathe  Catholicism,  without 
learning  any  other  religion.  And  this  could  be  produced,  not  alone 
in  reference  to  Catholics,  but  Presbyterians,  Methodists,  Unitarians, 
or  any  other.  They  might  find  that  their  children  disregard  their 
«wn  religion,  while  they  are  not  taught  any  other.  Suppose  the 
Presbyterians,' or  any  other  denomination,  were  in  the  minority,  and 
Catholics  were  numerically  what  Protestants  are  now,  and  therefore 
were  able  to  decide  what  lessons  their  children  should  read  in  these 
schools,  I  ask  you  if  the  gentleman  would  not  conceive  he  had  rea- 
sonable objections,  if  they  had  forced  upon  them  a  system  of  educa- 
tion which  teaches  that  their  denomination,  past,  present,  and  td 
come,  was  deceitful?  ISTow,  take  up  these  books,  which  teach  all 
that  is  infamous  in  our  history ;  which  teach  our  children  about  the 
"execution  of  Cranmer,"  the  "burning  of  Huss,"  and  "the  character 
of  Luther."     If  such  a  practice  were  reversed,  what  would  he  do  ? 

Now,  in  our  schools,  I  would  teach  them  ;  I  would  give  our  chil- 
dren lessons  for  exercise  in  reading,  that  should  teach  them  that 
when  the  young  tree  of  American  liberty  was  planted,  it  was  watered 
with  Catholic  blood,  and  that  therefore  we  have  as  much  right  to 
everything  common  in  this  country  as  others.  I  should  teach  them 
that  Catholic  bishops  and  Catholic  barons  at  Runneymede  wrung 
the  charter  of  our  liberties — the  grand  parent  of  all  known  liberty 
in  the  world — from  the  hands  of  a  tyrant.  I  should  teach  them 
where  to  find  the  bright  spots  on  our  history,  though  the  gentleman 
who  represents  the  Methodists  knew  not  where  they  were  to  be 
found.  This  I  would  do,  and  should  I  violate  the  law  ?  If,  instead 
of  the  burning  of  Huss,  I  gave  them  a  chapter  on  the  character  of 
Charles  Carroll  of  Carrollton,  as  a  reading  lesson,  would  that  be 
teaching  them  of  purgatory,  and  the  doctrine  of  Transubstantiation  ? 

But  if  our  circumstances  were  reversed,  so  that  Catholics  con- 
trolled the  public  schools,  would  not  Presbyterians  have  a  right  to 
complain  ?— and  should  not  we  be  tyrants  while  we  refused  to  listen 
to  their  complaints,  if  we  spread  before  their  children  lessons  on  the 
burning'of  Servetus  by  Calvin,  and  on  the  hangings  of  members  of  the 
Society  of  Friends  by  those  who  held  Calvin's  doctrines  ?  I  should 
listen  to  their  appeal  in  such  a  case  with  feelings  far  different  from 
those  manifested  by  them  in  regard  to  others.  But  I  would  do 
more,  in  order  that  those  little  vagrants,  of  whom  the  gentleman 
speaks,  might  come  into  school.     Their  j)arents  themselvfts  having 


by  persecution  been  deprived,  in  many  instances,  of  an  education,  do 
not  fully  appreciate  its  advantages,  and  if  you  seek  to  enforce  the 
attendance  of  their  children,  they  will  resist;  if  you  attempt  to 
coerce  them  you  -will  not  succeed.  But  if  you  put  them  in  a  way 
to  be  admitted  without  being  dragged  by  force  to  the  school,  or 
without  destroying  their  religious  principles  when  they  enter  (which 
you  have  no  right  to  do),  then  you  will  prepare  good  citizens,  edu- 
cated to  the  extent  that  will  make  them  useful  to  their  country. 
Then  their  parents,  having  confidence  in  their  pastors,  will  send 
their  children  to  schools  approved  of  by  them — and  the  children 
themselves  may  attend  schools  where  they  need  not  be  ashamed  of 
their  creed,  and  where  their  companions  will  not  call  them  "  Papists," 
and  tell  them  that  ignorance  and  vice  are  the  accompaniments  of 
their  religion.  That  will  be  the  result,  and  I  conceive  it  will  be 

Much  has  been  said  about  the  distinction  between  morality  and 
religion,  and  about  those  certain  broad  principles  on  which  it  is 
thought  all  can  agree.  And  yet  our  opponents  contend — and  I  am 
surprised  at  the  circumstance — gentlemen  who  are  not  only  Chris- 
tians themselves,  but  Christian  ministers,  contend  all  through  for 
the  rights  of  those  who  are  not  of  the  Christian  religion,  but  are 
commonly  called  infidels.  An  attempt  has  been  made  to  draw  a 
distinction  between  morality  and  religion.  "I  have  already  said,  and 
there  is  not  a  gentleman  here  who  will  pretend  to  deny  it,  that  mo- 
rality must  rest  on  religion  for  its  basis.  I  refer  you,  and  it  is  not 
an  ordinary  authority,  to  a  man  who  passed  through  life  with  the 
most  beautiful  character  and  the  most  blameless  reputation  that  ever 
fell  to  the  lot  of  a  public  man ;  one  who  was  distinguished  almost 
above  all  other  men ;  one,  of  whom  it  would  be  profane  to  say  that 
he  was  inspired,  yet,  of  Avhom  history  has  not  handed  down  one 
useless  action,  or  one  single  idle  word,  a  man  who  left  to  his  coun- 
try an  inheritance  of  the  brightest  example,  and  the  fairest  name 
^that  ever  soldier  or  statesman  bequeathed  to  a  nation — that  man  was 
Geoege  Washingtos-.  Hear  what  he  says  in  his  Farewell  Ad- 
dress, on  the  attempt  now  being  made  to  preserve  morality  whilst 
religion  is  discarded  from  the  public  schools. 

"  Of  all  the  dispositions  and  habits  which  lead  to  political  prosperity,  religion 
and  morality  are  indispensable  supports.  In  vain  would  that  man  claim  the  trib- 
ute of  patriotism,  who  should  labor  to  subvert  these  great  pillars  of  human  happi- 
ness, these  firmest  props  of  the  duties  of  men  and  citizens.  The  mere  politician, 
equally  with  the  pious  man,  ought  to  respect  and  to  cherish  them,  A  volume  could 
not  trace  all  their  connections  with  private  and  public  felicity.  Let  it  be  simply 
asked,  where  is  the  security  for  property,  for  reputation,  for  life,  if  the  sense  of  re- 
ligious obligations  deseet  the  oaths,  which  are  the  instruments  of  investigation  in 
courts  of  justice?  And  let  us  with  caution  indulge  the  supposition,  that  morality 
can  be  maintained  without  religion.  Whatever  may  be  conceded  to  the  influence 
of  refined  education  on  minds  of  peculiar  structure,  reason  and  experience  both  for- 
bid us  to  expect  that  national  morality  can  prevail  in  exclusion  of  religious  prin- 

"  'Tis  substantially  true,  that  virtue  or  morality  is  a  necessary  spring  of  popular 
government.     The  rule  indeed  extends  with  more  or  less  force  to  every  species  of 

158  AECHBISHOP   hughes'    SECOND   SPEECH 

free  government.  Who  that  is  a  sincere  friend  to  it  can  look  with  indifference  upon 
attempts  to  shake  the  foundation  of  the  fabric  ?" 

Such  is  the  warning,  the  solemn  warning  of  this  great  man.  If 
you  take  away  religion,  on  what  foundation  do  you  propose  to  rear 
the  structure  of  morality  ?  No— they  stand  to  each  other  m  the 
relation  of  parent  and  offspring,  or  rather  they  are  kmdred  prm- 
ciples  from  the  same  divine  source,  and  what  God  has  jomed  to- 
gether, let  no  man  put  asunder. 

Now,  with  regard  to  all  said  by  me  against  the  Protestant  Bible, 
I  appeal  to  this  honorable  body  whether  I  ever  said  one  word 
hostile  to  that  Bible ;  and  yet,  from  the  address  of  the  gentlemen 
on  the  other  side,  men  abroad,  who  should  read  their  speeches, 
would  be  led  to  believe  that  I  not  only  entertained,  but  that  I  had 
uttered  sentiments  of  hostility  to  that  work.  And  it  is  ever  thus 
that  our  principles  and  our  feelings  are  misrepresented,^ while  gentle- 
men profess  to  be  conscious  of  entertaining  no  prejudice  against  us 
as  Catholics.  One  gentleman,  however,  avowed  his  hostility  to  us 
on  this  ground,  and  for  his  candor  I  tender  my  acknowledgment. 
The  whole  effort  of  some  of  the  gentlemen,  indeed  of  all  who  have 
spoken  on  the  subject,  has  been  to  show  that  the  system  must  be 
made  so  broad  and  liberal  that  all  can  agree  in  it — but  I  think  they 
contend  for  too  much  when  they  wish  so  to  shape  religion  and 
balance  it  on  its  pedestal  as  to  make  it  suit  every  body  and  every 
sect ;  for  if  infidels  are  to  be  suited,  and  it  is  made  to  rconcile  them 
to  the  system,  I  want  to  know  whether  Catholics  or  any  other  class 
are  not  entitled  to  the  right  to  have  it  made  to  suit  them.  And  if 
everybody  is  to  be  made  satisfied,  why  is  it  that  Catholics  and 
others  are  discontented  and  excluded  ?  Is  it  not  manifest  that  what 
they  profess  to  accomplish  is  beyond  their  reach  ?  Now  the  infidels 
have  found  able  advocates  in  the  reverend  gentlemen  who  have  spoken 
in  the  course  of  this  discussion — I  mean  the  interests  of  infidelity — 
and  why  is  it,  then,  that  the  gentlemen  who  plead  for  that  side  of 
the  question,  enter  their  protest  against  ours  ?  I  should  like  to 
know  why  there  is  this  inconsistency.  If  the  rule  is  to  be  general, 
why  is  itjiot  general  ? 

I  pass  now  to  the  reasoning  of  one  learned  gentleman  who  spoke 
yesterday,  and  defended  the  Protestant  Bible.  Now  this  was  un- 
necessary in  that  gentleman — it  was  in  him  a  work  of  supereroga- 
tion to  vindicate  the  Protestant  Scriptures — it  was  useless  to  defend 
a  point  which  had  not  been  attacked.  It  was  time  lost ;  and  yet, 
perhaps,  not  altogether  lost ;  for  in  some  respects  it  may  have  been 
profitable  enough.  In  entering  on  its  defence,  he  said  it  was  the 
instrument  of  human  liberty  throughout  the  world — wherever  it 
was,  there  was  light  and  liberty ;  and  where  it  was  not,  there  was 
bondage  and  darkness ;  and  he  brought  it  round  so,  that  he  almost 
asserts  that  our  Declaration  of  independence  has  been  copied  from 
the  Bible.  No  doubt  the  just  and  righteous  principles  on  which 
that  Declaration  has  its  foundation,  have  their  sanction  in  the  Bible, 
but  I  d«ny  their  immediate  connection,  and  on  historical  grounds, 


for  it  is  known  that  its  author  looked  u^on  St.  Paul  as  an  imposter ; 
consequently  their  connection  is  not  historically  true.  But  while 
the  gentleman  referred  to  our  notes  (but  which  we  disown  and  re- 
pudiate), as  containing  principles  of  persecution — how  was  it  that 
after  the  Protestant  Bible,  "  without  note  and  comment,"  came  into 
use,  every  denomination  of  Protestants  in  the  whole  world  that  had 
the  misfortune,  for  it  must  have  been  a  misfortune,  to  be  yoked  to 
civil  power,  wielded  the  sword  of  persecution,  and  derived  their 
authority  for  so  doing  from  the  nalced  text?  Yes,  in  Scotland,  in  all 
her  confessions  of  faith — in  England,  and  I  appeal  to  her  penal  laws 
against  Catholics,  and  those  acts  by  which  the  Puritans  and  Dis- 
,  senters  were  pursued,  men  who  had  the  misfortune,  like  ourselves, 
to  have  a  conscience,  were  driven  out,  and  all  was  done  on  the  autho- 
rity of  the  Bible,  without  note  or  comment,  and  for  the  public  good 
and  the  good  of  the  Church.  I  do  not  say  that  the  Bible  sanctioned 
persecution,  but  I  deny  that  the  absence  of  notes  is  an  adequate 
preventive.  I  refer  to  history.  And  almost  to  this  day,  though 
the  Bible  has  been  translated  three  hundred  years,  even  in  liberal 
governments,  the  iron  heel  of  persecution  has  been  placed  on  the 
dearest  rights  of  Catholics.  The  gentleman  to  whom  I  alluded 
said,  no  doubt,  what  he  knew  would  be  popular  out  of  doors, 
for  he'  seems,  with  others,  to  imagine  that  the  world  began  at  the 
period  of  the  Reformation.  Ho  seems  to  think  that  everything 
great  originated  at  that  period.  But  does  he  not  know  that  eight 
hundred  editions  of  the  Bible  had  been  printed  before  the  Reforma- 
tion ?  And  does  he  not  know  that  two  hundred  editions  had  been 
circulated  in  the  common  tongue,  in  the  common  language  of  the 
country  ?  And  has  he  yet  to  learn  that  the  first  prohibition  to  read 
the  Bible  came  not  from  a  Catholic,  but  from  a  Protestant — from 
Protestant  Henry  VHI.,  of  "  glorious  memory  ?"  He  was  the  first 
to  issue  a  prohibition,  and  it  was  not  till  Catholics  saw  the  evil — not 
of  the  Bible,  but  the  bad  uses  men  were  making  of  the  Bible,  that 
they  placed  its  perusal  under  certain  restrictions,  and  cautioned  their 
people  against  hastily  judging  of  it  for  themselves.  All  had  been 
united  and  harmonious,  but  by  the  use,  or  abuse,  which  men  made 
of  the  Bible,  all  became  doubt  and  speculation,  the  positive  revela- 
tion of  Christ  was  shaken  or  destroyed.  They  saw  this  Bible,  and 
what  then  ?  But,  while  these  school  gentlemen  contend  that  it  is 
a  shield  against  infidelity,  and  that  all  sects  here  agree,  how  is  it  out 
of  the  schools?  Why,  no  sects  agree  upon  it.  How  is  it  that  the 
Bible,  which  is  given  by  the  inspiration  of  God,  the  God  of  truth, 
is  made  use  of  in  this  city  even,  to  prove  a  Trinity,  and  to  disprove 
a  Trinity?  How  is  it  that  Trinitarians  quote  it  to  prove  their  doc- 
trines, and  Unitarians  quote  it  to  establish  the  opposite  doctrines  ? 
How  is  it  that  whilst  one  says  from  the  Bible  that  God  the  Father 
is  God  alone,  and  that  Christ  is  not  equal  to  Him,  for  He  says,  "  J%e 
Father  is  greater  than  /,"  another  argues  from  the  same  Bible  that 
the  Father  and  Son  are  equal,  because  Christ  says  '■'■The  Father  and 
I  are  one  P^     And  another  comes  with  tho  Bible  in  his  hand,  and 


says,  I  believe,  and  I  can  prove  it  from  this  Bible  that  Christ  alone 
is  the  Almighty  God,  and  the  Father  and  the  Spirit  are  only  attri- 
butes of  the  same  person !  Why,  this  Bible  which  they  say  is  the 
foundation  of  Jill  truth,  and  they  say  well,  when  it  is  truly  under- 
stood, a  grace  which  God  can  vouchsafe,  and,  no  doubt.  He  does  to 
many,  this  Bible  is  harmonious  in  its  every  doctrine.  But  that  is 
not  the  point — the  point  is  the  uses  we  see  men  make  of  it,  and  this 
is  the  sum  of  our  reason  that  we  wish  our  children  not  to  be  taught 
in  the  manner  in  which  Protestant  children  are  taught  in  reference 
to  the  Bible. 

And  then,  again,  if  you  teach  that  there  is  a  hell,  according  to 
the  Bible,  others  will  contend  that  the  Scriptures  teach  no  such  doc-, 
trine,  and  so  I  might  pass  on  to  other  points,  to  show  you  whilst 
they  thus  contend  for  the  Bible  as  the  guide  to  truth,  there  is  this 
disagreement  among  them,  at  least  in  this  country,  where  human 
rights  and  liberties  are  understood  as  allowing  every  man  to  judge 
for  himself.  Is  there  not,  then,  danger — is  there  no  ground  to  ap- 
prehend that  when  our  children  read  this  Bible,  and  find  that  all 
these  different  sects  father  all  their  contradictions  on  the  Bible  as 
their  authority,  they  will  derive  their  first  notions  of  infidelity  from 
these  circumstances  ?  But  there  is  another  ground  on  which  it  is 
manifest  we  cannot  allow  our  children  to  be  taught  by  them. 
Whilst  we  grant  them  the  right  to  take,  if  they  please,  the  Protes- 
tant Bible  as  the  rule  of  their  faith,  and  the  individual  right  to 
judge  of  the  Bible — and  this  great  principle  they  proclaim  as  the 
peculiar  and  distinctive,  and  most  glorious  trait  in  their  religious 
character  and  history — and  let  them  boast  of  it,  there  is  no  diiiiculty 
on  the  subject — they  interpret  the  Bible  by  the  standard  of  reason, 
and  therefore,  as  there  is  no  given  standard  of  reason — as  one  has 
more  and  another  less — they  scarcely  ever  arrive  at  the  same  result, 
while  the  Bible,  the  eternal  Word  of  God,  remains  the  same.  But 
this  is  not  a  Catholic  principle.  Catholics  do  not  believe  that  God 
has  vouchsafed  the  promise  of  the  Holy  Spirit  to  every  individual, 
but  that  He  has  given  His  Spirit  to  teach  the  Church  collectively, 
and  to  guide  the  Church,  and  therefore  we  do  not  receive  as  the 
Bible  except  what  the  Church  guarantees ;  and  wanting  this  guar- 
antee, the  Methodist  gentleman  failed  to  establish  the  book,  which 
he  produced  with  its  notes,  as  a  Catholic  Bible.  We  do  not  take 
the  Bible  on  the  authority  of  a  "  King's  Printer,"  who  is  a  specu- 
lating  publisher,  who  publishes  it  but  as  a  speculation.  And  why  ? 
Because  by  the  change  of  a  single  comma,  that  which  is  positive 
may  be  made  negative,  and  vice  versa,  and  then  is  it  the  Bible  of  the 
inspired  writers  ?  It  is  not.  They  proclaim,  then,  that  theirs  is  a 
Christianity  of  reason ;  of  this  they  boast,  and  let  them  glory.  Ours 
is  a  Christianity  of  faith;  ours  descends  by  the  teaching  of  the 
Church ;  Ave  are  never  authorized  to  introduce  new  doctrines,  be- 
cause "vve  contend  that  no  new  doctrine  is  true,  from  the  time  of  the 
apostles,  unless  it  has  come  from  the  mind  of  God  by  a  special  reve- 
lation, and  to  us  that  is  not  manifest  among  the  reformers.     We  aro 


satisfied  to  trust  our  eternal  interests,  for  weal  or  woe,  on  the  se- 
curity of  tliat  Catholic  Church,  and  the  veracity  of  the  divine  prom- 
ises. You  perceive,  therefore,  that  PjwDtestants  may  agree  in  the 
system  where  this  Bible  is  thus  introduced ;  but  it  is  not  in  accord- 
ance with  the  principles  of  Catholics,  that  each  one  shall  derive 
therefrom  his  own  notions  of  Christianity.  It  is  not  the  principle 
of  Catholics,  because  they  believe  in  the  incompetence  of  individual 
reason,  in  matters  of  such  importance.  It  is  from  this  self-sufficiency 
and  imputed  capacity  that  men  derive  such  notions  of  self-confidence. 
which,  owing  to  a  want  of  power  to  control  in  some  domestic  cir- 
cles, if  taught  to  our  children,  lead  to  disobedience  and  disregard 
of  the  parental  authority. 

I  have  been  obliged  to  enter  into  this,  which  is  rather  theological 
than  otherwise,  to  put  you  in  possession  of  the  true  ground.  We 
do  not  take  the  Protestant  Bible,  but  we  do  not  wish  others  not 
to  take  it  if  they  desire  it.  If  conscience  be  stifled,  you  do  not 
make  us  better  men  or  better  citizens,  and  therefore  I  say,  gentle- 
men, respect  conscience,  even  though  you  think  it  in  error,  jsrovided 
it  does  not  conflict  with  the  public  rights. 

I  have  sufficiently  disposed  of  the  addresses  of  the  two  legal  gen- 
tlemen who  have  spoken.  I  will  now  call  the  attention  of  this  hon- 
orahle  body  to  the  remarks  of  the  reverend  gentleman  who  spoke  in 
relation  to  the  Rhemish  Testament.  I  did  use,  sir,  yesterday  an 
expression  which  I  used  with  reluctance ;  but  when  we  were  charged 
before  this  honorable  body — when  the  reverend  gentleman  who 
represents  a  numerous  denomination,  charged  us  with  teaching  the 
lawfulness  of  murdei'ing  heretics,  that  expression  carae  on  me  as 
a  thunderbolt,  because  I  thought  that  truth  should  proceed  from  the 
lips  of  age  and  a  man  of  character.  And,  sir,  I  knew  that  position 
was  not  true,  and  that  it  was  an  easy  matter  to  assert  a  thing,  but 
not  so  easy  to  disprove  it.  I  might  take  advantage  of  circumstan- 
ces to  charge  a  man  with  things  that  it  would  take  weeks  to  dis- 
prove, and  therefore  I  thought  it  necessary  to  nail  that  slanderous 
statement  to  the  counter  before  it  could  have  its  designed  influence 
here  or  elsewhere.  That  gentleman  began  with  great  humility, 
and  with  professions  of  being  devoid  of  prejudice,  and  then  he  said 
that  those  meetings  to  which  he  referred,  and  which  he  called  "pub- 
lic gatherings,"  had  caused  him  to  feel  greatly  alarmed  about  this 
question,  as  if  the  stability  of  your  Republic  was  endangered,  pro- 
vided Catholic  children  received  the  benefits  of  a  common  school 
education !  He  said  I  had  applied  certain  remarks  to  the  creed  of 
the  Society  of  Friends,  and,  though  perhaps  it  was  somewhat  out 
of  order,  but  wishing  to  set  the  gentleman  right,  I  denied  that  I  had 
done  so.  But  since  then  the  reporter  has  handed  me  the  notes  taken 
of  what  I  did  say,  and  from  them  also  it  appears  that  I  said  no  such 
thing.  He  the  practice  of  teaching  religion  in  the  schools ; 
but  of  that  I  have  disposed  already. 

He  then,  while  going  through  the  introductory  part  of  the  re- 
monstrance of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,  threw  out  constantly 


calumnious  charges  against  the  Catholic  Church  and  the  Catholic 
religion ;  he  did  not  throw  them  out  as  assertions  but  by  inuendo,  as 
"if  it  be  true,"  and  "I  should  like  to  know,"  as  if  I  am  here  for  the 
pui'pose  of  supplying  everything  he  would  "like  to  know."  .And  how 
can  I  meet  him  when  insinuation  is  the  form  in  which  his  charges 
are  thrown  out?  Why,  their  very  feebleness  takes  from  an  opponent 
the  power  of  refutation.  But  when  he  comes  to  something  tangible, 
then  I  can  meet  him.  Having  gone  through  a  series  of  insinuations, 
he  misrepresents  our  intentions,  notwithstanding  we  disclaim  such 
an  intention,  he  indulges  in  the  gratuitous  supposition  that  if 
your  honorable  body  should  grant  our  petition,  we  shall  secretly 
teach  the  Catholic  religion.  But  if  we  do,  is  not  the  law  as  potent 
against  us  as  against  the  public  schools  ?  If  they  teach  religion,  as 
they  acknowledge,  why  may  not  we  ?  We.  are  not  grasping  to 
obtain  power  over  others,  but  we  desire  in  sincerity  to  benefit  a  por- 
tion of  our  own  neglected  children.  I  shall  pass  over,  therefore, 
a  great  deal  of  what  the  gentleman  "  would  like  to  know,"  for  I  do 
not  know  if  it  is  of  importance  to  the  subject.  He  said  this  Rhemish 
Testament  was  published  by  authority ;  but  he  began  by  a  retreat, 
and  not  by  a  direct  charge :  he  did  "  not  profess  to  say  that  our 
Church  approved  of  it ;"  but  it  was  printed  and  published,  and  it 
was  not  on  the  "  Index,"  as  if  every  bad  book  in  the  world  must  be 
in  the  Index;  and  with  this  evidence  of  fact,  he  comes  here  and 
spreads  before  the  American  people  the  slander  and  calumny  that  the 
Catholics  by  their  notes  and  comments  teach  the  lawfulness  of  mur- 
dering heretics.  Now,  sir,  I  will  take  up  that  book  and  the  parts 
he  read  with  the  notes,  giving  an  explanation  as  though  they  came 
from  Catholics.  Do  you  know  the  history  of  that  book,  sir  ?  If 
not,  I  can  tell  you.  When  Queen  Elizabeth  scourged  the  Catholics 
from,  their  altars,  and  drove  them  into  exile,  these  men  held  a  com- 
mon notion,  which  was  natural  and  just,  that  England  was  their 
country,  and  that  they  were  suiFering  unmerited  persecution.  The 
new  religion,  not  satisfied  with  toleration  for  itself,  grasped  the  sub- 
stance of  things,  grasped  the  power  of  the  State,  seized  all  their 
temples ;  and  not  even  satisfied  with  this,  scourged  the  Catholics 
from  their  home  and  country ;  and  they  did  write  these  notes,  and 
why?  They  wrote  them  in  exile,  smarting  under  the  lash  and  the 
torture,  and  in  connection,  too,  with  a  plan  for  the  invasion  of  Eng- 
land by  PhiUp  II.  of  Spain.  Their  object  was  to  disseminate  amongst 
Catholics  of  England  disaffection  to  Queen  Elizabeth,  and  thus 
dispose  them  to  join  the  true  Catholics  and  oppose  the  heretics, 
because  the  heretics  were  their  enemies,  were  the  enemies  of  their 
rights,  and  had  crushed  them.  But  when  that  book  appeared  in 
England,  was  there  a  single  approval  given  it,  a  single  Catholic  that 
received  it  ?  Not  one.  When  it  was  published  for  political  ends — 
to  aid  the  invasion  of  Philip — did  the  English  Catholics  receive  it  ? 
Never.  But  the  gentleman  said  it  was  published  by  the  Bishops  of 
Ireland,  and  with  their  approbation,  and  with  the  approbation  of  a 
great  number  of  the  Catholic  clergy;  and  this  after  his  own  ad- 


mission  that,  insomuch  as  it  had  not  been  approved  by  the  Holy 
See,  the  Bishop  of  Rome,  it  was  not  of  authority  in  the  Cathohc 
Church.  Now  I  shall  take  up  both  parts,  and  first  I  should  like  to 
know  where  is  his  authority  •'hat  it  was  published  by  the  Bishops 
of  Ireland  ?  I  pause  for  a  i  eply,  and  I  shall  not  consider  it  an 

Dr.  Bond.     Do  you  wish  an  answer  ? 

Bishop  Hughes.     I  do,  sir;  I  desire  yoiir  authority. 

Dr.  Bond.  Why,  if  we  are  to  believe  history,  it  is  true ;  it  ia 
stated  in  the  "British  Critic." 

Bishop  Hughes.     Oh  !  I  am  satisfied. 

Dr.  Bond.     It  could  not  have  been  reviewed,  if  it  did  not  exist. 

Bishop  Hughes.  Oh  !  it  is  here  ;  and  that  proves  its  existence, 
without  the  "  British  Critic."  It  was  gone  out  of  print  again,  and 
not  a  Catholic  now  heard  of  it ;  but  your  liberal  Protestant  clergy- 
men of  New  York  republished  it.  What  for  ?  To  bring  infamy 
on  the  Catholic  name ;  and  it  was  from  this  Protestant  edition,  and 
not  from  Ireland,  that  the  Methodist  gentleman  received  it.  I  am 
now  not  surprised  at  his  saying  so  often  that  he  would  "  like  to 
know,"  for  a  little  more  knowledge  would  be  of  great  advantage  to 
him.     I  need  not  read  it. 

Dr.  Bond.     Oh,  you  had  better. 

Bishop  Hughes.     Well,  sir,  anything  to  accommodate  you. 

"  It  is  a  remarkiible  fact,  that  notwithstanding  the  whole  New  Testament,  as  it  was 
translated  and  explaincid  by  the  members  of  the  Jesuit  College  at  Rheims,  in  1582, 
has  been  republished  in  a  great  number  of  editions,  and  their  original  annotations, 
either  more  or  less  extensively,  have  been  added  to  the  text ;  yet  as  a  work  it  is 
appealed  to  as  an  authority ;  the  Roman  Church  admit  both  the  value  of  the  book 
and  the  obligation  of  the  Papists  to  believe  its  contents.  We  have  no  more  strik- 
ing modern  instance  to  prove  this  deceitfulness." 

It  must  be  recollected  that  this  is  a  Protestant  publication  ;  the 
Catholics  did  not  circulate  it,  but  the  Protestant  ministers  did,  to 
mislead  their  flocks  and  to  bring  infamy  on  their  Catholic  fellow- 

"  The  Douay  Bible  is  usually  so  called,  because  although  the  New  Testament 
was  first  translated  aud  published  at  Rheims,  yet  the  Old  Testament  was  printed 
some  years  after  at  Douay;  the  English  Jesuits  having  removed  their  monastery 
from  Rheims  to  Douay,  before  their  version  of  the  Old  Testament  was  completed. 
In  the  year  1816,  an  edition,  including  both  the  Dnuay  Old,  and  the  Rhemish  Kew 
Testament,  was  issued  at  Dublin,  containing  a  large  number  of  comments,  replete 
with  impiety,  irreligion,  and  the  most  fiery  persecution.  That  edition  was  }jub- 
lished  under  the  direction  of  all  the  dignitaries  of  the  Roman  Hierarchy  in  Ire- 
land, and  about  three  hundred  others  of  the  most  influential  subordinate  priests." 

Now,  I  called  for  the  gentleman's  evidence  of  this,  and  the  gen- 
tleman was  found  minus  habens — he  has  it  not  to  give.  The  prints 
said  so,  and  he  believed  the  prints !  Now,  sir,  this  is  a  grave  charge, 
and  I  am  disposed  to  treat  it  gravely ;  but  I  should  not  feel  worthy 
of  the  name  of  a  man,  I  should  feel  myself  unworthy  of  being  a  mem- 
ber ol  the  American  family,  if  I  had  not  rifien  and  repelled  such  a 
charge  as  it  deserved. 

164  ABCHBrSHOP   hughes'  SECOND   SPEECH 

Dr.  Bond.    You  have  not  read  all  I  read. 

Bishop  Hu  GHEs.  I  will  read  all  the  gentleman  may  wish,  if  he 
will  not  keep  me  here  reading  all  night. 

"  The  notea  which  urged  the  hatred  and  murder  of  Protestants,  attracted  the 
attention  of  the  British  churches,  and,  to  use  the  words  of  T.  Hartwell  Home,  that 
edition  of  the  Rhemish  Testament,  printed  at  Dublin  in  1816,  corrected  and  revised 
and  approved  by  Dr.  Troy,  Roman  Catholic  Archbishop  of  Dublin,  was  reviewed 
by  the  '  British  Critic,'  vol.  viii.,  pp.  296-308  ;  new  series ;  and  its  dangerous  tenets, 
both  civil  and  religious,  were  exposed." 

That  is  the  testimony. 

Dr.  Bond.     There  is  another  paragraph. 

Bishop  Hughes.    Well,  I  will  read  the  other. 

"  This  publication,  with  many  others  of  a  similar  character  produced  so  great  an 
excitement  in  Britain,  that  finally  some  of  the  most  prominent  of  the  Irish  Roman 
prelates  we»e  called  before  the  English  Parliament  to  prove  their  own  work.  Then, 
and  upon  oath,  with  all  official  Bolemnity,  they  peremptorily  disclaimed  the  vol- 
umes published  by  their  own  instigation,  and  under  their  own  supervision  and  aus- 
pices, as  books  of  no  authority;  because  they  had  not  been  ratified  by  the  Pope, 
and  received  by  the  whole  Papal  church." 

Now,  what  authority  have  we  for  this  charge  of  perjury  against 
the  Irish  bishops,  better  than  the  gentleman's  own  ?  It  is  so  stated 
here  ;  what  authority  is  there  for  that  ? 

Dr.  Bond.     It  was  so  stated  before  the  British  Parhament. 

Bishop  Hughes.  I  should  regret,  on  account  of  your  age,  if  I 
used  any  expression  that  might  be  deemed  harsh. 

Dr.  Bond.     Take  the  liberty  to  say  what  you  please. 

Bishop  Hughes.  With  regard  to  these  notes,  I  have  to  observe, 
that  they  were  written  in  an  age  (1582)  when  the  rights  of  con- 
science were  but  little  understood.  Protestants  in  that  age  every- 
where persecuted,  not  only  Catholics,  but  each  other.  And  long 
after,  the  Puritans  of  New  England,  with  the  Bible,  and  without 
notes,  persecuted  with  torture,  and  even  to  hanging  their  fellow- 
Protestants.  It  was  not  wonderful,  therefore,  if  in  such  an  age 
Catholics  were  found  to  entertain  the  opinions  set  forth  in  the  notes. 
But,  bad  as  they  are,  it  is  remarkable  that  they  do  not  sustain  the 
calumnious  charge  of  the  reverend  gentleman,  that  they  "  teach  the 
lawfulness  of  murdering  heretics." 

And  now,  sir,  let  me  call  your  attention  to  the  book  itself. 

In  the  13th  chapter  of  St.  Matthew  there  is  this  text,  at  the  29th 
verse.  It  occurs  in  the  parable  of  the  cockle  (in  the  Protestant 
version,  (ares)  and  the  wheat,  in  answer  to  Christ's  disciples,  who 
asked :  "  Wilt  thou  that  we  gather  it  up  ?"  And  he  said,  "  No  :  lest 
perhaps,  gathering  tip  the  cockles,  you  may  root  up  the  wheat  also  to- 
gether with  it."     The  annotation  on  this  is  : 

"  Ver.  29.  Lest  youphick  uy  also.  The  good  must  tolerate  the  evil,  when  it  is 
so  strong  that  it  cannot  be  repressed  without  danger  and  disturbance  of  the  whole 
Chiirch,  and  commit  the  matter  to  God's  judgment  in  the  latter  day.  Otherwise, 
where  ill  men,  be  they  heretics  or  other  malefactors;  may  be  punished  or  sup^ 
pressed  without  disturbance  and  hazard  of  the  good,  they  may,  and  ought,  by 
public  authority,  either  spiritua;  (r  temporal,  to  be  chastised  or  executed.'' 


They  may  and  ought,  "  hy  public  authority  /"  Why,  the  propo- 
Bition  of  the  gentleman  was,  that  Catholics  were  taught  to  kill  their 
Protestant  neighbors.  Now,  there  is  not  throughout  the  whole 
volume  a  proposition  so  absurd  as  the  idea  conveyed  by  hhn.  Bad 
as  the  notes  are,  they  require  falsification  to  .bear  him  out. 

Again,  Luke  ix.  64-55:  "And  when  his  disciples  James  and  John 
had  see7i  it,  they  said,  Lord  wilt  thou  we  say  that  fire  come  down  from 
heaven  and  consume  them?  And  turning,  he  rebuked  them,  saying, 
You  know  not  of  what  spirit  you  are."     Annotation: 

Ver.  55.  He  rebuked  them.  Not  justice,  nor  all  rigorous  punishment  of  sinners 
is  here  forbidden,  nor  Elias's  fact  reprehended,  nor  the  Church  or  Christian  princes 
blamed  for  putting  heretics  to  death.  But  none  of  these  should  be  done  for  desire 
of  our  particular  revenge,  or  without  discretion  and  regard  of  their  amendment, 
and"  example  to  others.  Therefore  Peter  used  his  power  upon  Ananias  and  Saphira 
when  he  struck  them  both  down  to  death  for  defrauding  the  Church." 


I  am  afraid  I  shall  fatigue  this  honorable  body  by  going  over 
these  notes  ;  nor  is  it  necessary  that  I  should  follow  the  gentleman 
in  all  his  discursive  wanderings.  There  is  nothing  in  this  to  author- 
ize the  murdering  of  heretics. 

But  again,  Luke  xiv.  23.  "And  the  Lord  said  to  the  servant,  Go 
forth  unto  the  ways  and  hedges ;  and  compel  them  to  enter,  thai  my 
house  may  be  filled."     Annotation : 

"  Compel  them..  The  vehement  pei'suasion  that  God  uaeth,  both  externally,  by 
force  of  his  word  and  miracles,  and  internally  by  his  grace,  to  bring  us  unto  him, 
is  called  compelling:  not  that  he  forceth  any  one  to  come  to  him  against  their 
wills,  but  that  he  can  alter  and  mollify  a  hard  heart,  and  make  him  willing,  that 
before  would  not.  Augustine,  also,  referreth  this  compelling  to  the  penal  laws, 
which  Catholic  princes  do  justly  use  against  heretics  and  schismatics,  proving  that 
they  who  are  by  their  former  profession  in  baptism  subject  to  the  Catliolio  Church, 
and  are  departed  from  the  same  after  sects,  may  and  ouglit  to  be  compelled  into 
the  unity  and  society  of  the  Universal  Church  again ;  and  therefore,  in  this  sense, 
by  the  two  former  parts  of  the  parable,  the  Jews  first,  and  secondly  the  Gentiles, 
that  never  believed  before  in  Christ,  were  invited  by  fair,  sweet  means  only;  but 
by  the  third,  such  are  invited  as  the -Church  of  God  hath  power  over,  because  they 
promised  in  baptism,  and  therefore  are  to  be  revoked  not  only  by  gentle  means, 
but  by  just  punishment  also." 

Sir,  the  punishment  of  spiritual  offences  and  the  allusions  here 
made  to  it,  have  their  roots  too  deep  and  too  wide-spreading  to  be 
entered  into  and  discussed  in  the  time  that  I  could  occupy  this  eve- 
ning. It  would  be  impossible  to  go  over  the  historical  grounds 
which  suggest  themselves  in  connection  with  the  subject,  to  show 
the  results  to  the  state  of  society  which  grew  unavoidably  out  of 
the  breaking  up  of  the  Roman  Empire,  and  the  incursion  of  new 
and  uncivilized  nations  and  tribes.  Society  had  been  dissolved, 
with  all  the  order  and  laws  of  the  ancient  civilization.  It  was  the 
slow  work  of  the  Church  to  re-organize  the  new  and  crude  materials ; 
to  gather  and  arrange  the  fragments  ;  to  re-model  society  and  social 
institutions  as  best  she  might.  There  was  no  other  power  that 
could  digest  the  crude  mass ;  the  fierce  infusions  of  other  tongues 


and  tribes  and  nations  that  had,  during  the  chaos,  become  mixed  up 
with  the  remains  of  ancient  Roman  civilization.  She  had  to  begm 
by  religion,  their  conversion  to  Christianity  being  the  first  step ; 
and  the  Catholic  Church  being  the  only  one  in  existence.  Hence 
the  laws  of  religion  are  the  first  with  which  those  new  populations 
became  acquainted,  and  the  only  ones  that  could  restrain  them. 
Hence,  too,  what  is  called  canon  law  went  before,  and  civil  law 
gradually  followed,  oftentimes  mixed  with  and  deriving  its  force 
from  the  older  form  of  legislation.  The  actual  state  of  society  made 
it  unavoidable  that  this  should  be  the  order  of  things.  Civil  gov- 
ernments oftentimes  engrafted  whole  branches  of  the  ecclesiastical 
law  in  their  secular  codes ;  and  ecclesiastical  judges  were  often  the 
interpreters  and  administrators  of  both. 

Canonical  law  and  civil  law,  thus  blended,  became  the  Codes  'of 
civil  government,  from  the  necessity  of  the  case,  and  it  is  to  this 
state  of  things  that  the  authors  of  the  notes  make  allusion  in  their 
text.  But,  as  I  have  remarked,  the  subject  is  too  deep  to  be  prop- 
erly discussed  on  this  occasion,  when  time  is  so  brief,  and  so  many 
speakers  to  be  replied  to. 

We  now  come  to  Acts  xxv.  11 : 

"  /  appeal  to  Cmsar.  If  Paul,  both  to  save  himself  from  whipping  and  from 
death,  sought  by  the  Jews,  doubted  not  to  cry  for  honor  of  the  Eoman  laws,  and 
to  appeal  to  Coesar,  the  Prince  of  the  Eomans,  not  yet  Christened,  how  much  more 
may  we  call  for  aid  of  Christian  princes  and  their  laws,  for  the  punishment  of  her- 
etics, and  for  the  Church's  defence  against  them.     Autfml.  Jipist.  50." 

Here  you  see  the  working  of  human  interest ;  and  it  is  not  the 
first  time,  among  Protestants  and  Catholics,  nor  will  it  be  the  last, 
that  men  have  made  the  Word  of  God  and  sacred  things  a  stepping- 
stone  to  promote  temporal  interests.  They  say  there,  "Heretics 
have  banished  us,  and  is  it  not  naturally  the  interest  of  Catholics  to 
join  a  Catholic  prince  to  put  down  our  stern  persecutors?"  As  if 
they  had  said  to  their  fellow-Catholics  of  England,  a  Catholic  prince 
will  sooi}  make  a  descent  on  our  country,  it  will  be  your  duty,  as  it 
is  your  interest,  to  join  in  putting  down  the  heretic  Elizabeth,  who 
has  driven  us  from  our  country. 

I  go  now  to  Hebrews  x.  29:  '■'•  How  mvch  more,  think  you,  doth 
he  deserve  worse  punishments  who  hath  trodden  the  Son  of  God  under 
foot,  and  esteemed  the  blood  of  the  Testament  polluted  wherein  he  is 
sanctified,  and  hath  done  contrarihj  to  the  spirit  of  grace  ?"  Anno- 
tation : 

"  The  blood  of  the  Textamenl.  Whosoever  maketli  no  more  of  the  blood  of  Christ's 
sacrifice,  either  as  shed  upon  the  cross  or  in  the  chalice  of  the  altar,  for  our  Saviour 
calleth  (hat  the  blood  of  the  New  Testament,  than  he  doth  of  the  blood  of  calves 
and  slieep,  or  of  other  common  drinks,  is  worihy  death,  and  God  will  in  the  future 
life,  if  it  be  not  punished  here,  revenge  it  witli  grievous  punishment." 

"  God  will  in  the  next  life  punish !"  Why,  as  bad  as  these  notes 
are,  objectionable  and  scornfully  repudiated  as  they  were  by  the 
Catholics  of  England,  bad  as  they  are,  they  do  not  sustain  the  gen- 
tleman, whose  assertion  has  gone  as  far  beyond  the  truth  as  it  is  so 


very  far  beyond  charity.  I  do  not  find  the  notes ,  from  the  Apoca- 
lypse, ■which  would  have  gone  to  show  in  like  manner  that,  bad  as 
they  were,  they  do  not  support  the  accusations  made. 

Dr.  Bond.    There  are  others  as  well. 

Bishop  Hughes.     Well,  I  will  give  you  the  rest. 

The  Peesident.  Perhaps  it  is  not  necessary.  But  if  tliey  are, 
it  is  not  necessary  to  interrupt  the  gentleman. 

Bishop  Hughes.  Such  then,  sir,  are  the  notes  put  by  the  Catholic 
translators  of  the  New  Testament,  at  Rheims,  in  1582 — smarting  as 
they  were'  under  the  lash  of  Elizabeth's  persecution,  and  looking 
forward  with  hope  to  the  result  of  the  invasion  by  Philip  H.  They 
were  repudiated  indignantly  by  the  Catholics  of  England  and  Ire- 
land from  the  first ;  and  were  out  of  print,  until  some  Protestant 
ministers  of  New  York  had  them  published,  in  order  to  mislead  the 
people  and  to  excite  odium  against  the  Catholic  name. 

But  here,  sir,  is  the  acknowledged  Testament  of  all  Catholics 
who  speak  the  English  language ;  this  is  known  and  may  be  read 
by  any  one,  it  is  the  14th  edition  in  this  country,  it  corresponds 
with  those  used  in  England  and  Ireland  ;  and  if  any  such  notes  can 
be  found  in  it,  then  believe  Catholics  to  be  what  they  have  been 
falsely  represented  to  be. 

But  the  reverend  gentleman  disclaims  originating  the  slander.  He 
took  it,  we  are  told,  from  the  British  Critic,  as  if  that  which  is 
false  must  become  true,  from  the  moment  it  is  put  in  type  and 
printed.  But,  sir,  he  should  have  known  that  the  article  in  the 
British  Critic  was  refuted  at  the  time,  and  has  been  since  refuted  in 
the  Dublin  Review.  And  it  so  happens  that  Doctor  Troy,  then 
Catholic  Archbishop  of  Dublin,  and  who  is  here  represented  as  hav- 
ing approved  these  notes,  had  to  sustain  a  law-suit  with  the  Dublin 
publisherj«who  was  also  a  Protestant — not  for  approving  the  work, 
but  for  DENOUNCING  it,  which  destroyed  the  publisher's  speculation, 
and  involved  a  suit  against  the  Archbishop  for  damages ! !  This  is 
attested  by  Dr.  Troy's  letter,  now  before  me,  and  by  the  legal  pro- 
ceedings, and  in  a  speech  made  by  Daniel  O'Connell  to  the  Catho- 
lic Board  at  the  time  (181V),  we  find  the  following  : 

"From  the  Dublin  Evening  Post  of  the  6ih  of  December,  1817. 

A  remarkably  full  meeting  of  the  Catholic  Board  took  place  on  Thursday  last, 
pursuant  to  adjournment — Owen  O'Conner,  Esq.,  in  the  Chair. 

After  some  preliminary  business,  Mr  O'Connell  rose  to  mate  his  promised  mo- 
tion, for  the  appointment  of  a  Committee  to  prepare  a  denunciation  of  the  intoler- 
ant doctrines  contained  in  the  Rhemisli   Notes. 

Mr.  O'Coiinell  said,  that  on  the  last  day  of  meeting  he  gave  notice  that  he  would 
move  for  a  committee,  to  draw  up  a  disavowal  of  the  very  dangerous  and  unchari- 
table doctrines  contained  in  certain  notes  to  the  llhemish  Testament.  He  now 
rose  to  submit  that  motion  to  the  consideration  of  the  Board.  The  late  edition  of 
the  Rheimish  Testament  in  this  country  gave  rise  to  much  observation  ;  that  work 
was  denounced  by  Dr.  Troy ;  an  action  is  now  depending  between  him  and  a  re- 
spectable bookseller  in  this  city ;  and  It  would  be  the  duty  of  the  Board  not  to  in- 

168  AECHBISHOP   hughes'    SECOND    SPEECH 

terfere,  in  the  reihotest  degi-ee,  -with  the  subject  of  that  action,  but,  on  flie  other 
hand,  the  Board  could  not  let  the  present  opportunity  pass  by  of  recording  their 
sentiments  of  disapprobation,  and  even  of  abhorrence  of  the  bigoted  and  intoler- 
ant doctrines  promulgated  in  that  work.  Their  feelings  of  what  was  wise,  consis- 
tent, and  liberal,  would  suggest  such  a  proceeding,  even  though  the  indecent  cal- 
nmnies  of  their  enemies  had  not  rendered  it  indispensible.  A  work  called  llie 
Brilish  Critic,  had,  no  doubt,  been  read  by  some  gentlemen  who  heard  him.  The 
circulation  of  the  last  number  has  been  very  extensive,  and  exceeded,  almost  be- 
yond circulation,  the  circulation  of  any  former  number,  in  consequence  of  an  arti- 
cle whicli  appeared  in  it  on  the  late  edition  of  the  Khemish  Testament.  He  (Mr. 
O'Connel!)  said  he  read  that  article ;  it  is  extremely  unfair  and  uncandid  ;  it  gives 
with  audacious  falsehood,  passages,  as  if  from  the  notes  of  the  Rheiinish  Testa- 
ment, which  cannot  be  found  in  that  work ;  and,  with  mean  cunning,  it  seeks  to 
avoid  detection  by  quoting,  without  giving  either  text  or  page.  Throughout,  it  is 
written  in  the  true  spirit  of  the  inquisition,  it  is  violent,  vindictive,  and  uncharita- 
ble. He  was  sorry  to  understand  that  it  was  written  by  ministers  of  the  Estab- 
lished Church ;  but  he  trusted,  that  when  the  charge  of  intemperance  should  be 
again  brought  forward  against  the  Catholics,  their  accusers  would  cast  their  eyes 
on  this  coarse  and  illiberal  attack — here  they  may  find  a  specimen  of  real  intemper- . 
ance.  But  the  very  acceptable  work  of  imputing  principles  to  the  Irish  people 
which  they  never  held,  and  which  they  abhor,  was  not  confined  to  Tlie  British 
Critic.  2/ie  Cmirier,  a  newspaper  whose  circulation  is  immense,  lent  its  hand,  and 
the  provincial  newspapers  throughout  England — those  papers  which  are  forever 
silent  when  anything  might  be  said  favorable  to  Ireland,  but  are  ever  active  to  dis- 
seminate whatever  may  tend  to  her  disgrace  or  dishonor.  They  have  not  hesitated 
to  impute  to  the  Catholics  of  this  country  the  doctrines  contained  in  those  offen- 
sive noteS' — and  it  was  their  duty  to  disclaim  them.  Nothing  was  more  remote 
from  the  true  sentiments  of  the  Irish  people.  These  notes  were  of  English  growth ; 
they  were  written  in  agitated  times,  when  the  title  of  Elizabeth  was  questioned, 
on  the  grounds  of  legitimacy.  Party  spirit  was  then  extremely  violent :  politics 
mixed  with  religion,  and,  of  course,  disgraced  it.  Queen  Mary,  of  Scotland,  had 
active  partisans,  who  thought  it  would  forward  their  purposes  to  translate  the 
Bible,  and  add  to  it  those  obnoxious  notes.  But  very  shortly  after  the  establish- 
ment of  the  College  at  Douay,  this  Rhemish  edition  was  condemned  by  all  the 
Doctors  of  that  Institution,  who,  at  the  same  time,  called  for  and  received  the  aid 
of  the  Scotch  and  Irish  Colleges.  The  book  was  thus  suppressed,  ani  an  edition 
of  the  Bible,  with  notes,  was  published  at  Douay,  which  has  ever'been  since 
adopted  by  the  Catholic  Church ;  so  that  they  not  only  condemned  and  suppressed 
the  Rheimish  edition,  but  they  published  an  edition,  with  notes,  to  which  no  objec- 
tion has,  or  could  be,  urged.  From  that  period  there  have  been  but  two  editions 
of  the  Rhemish  Testament ;  the  first  had  very  little  circulation  ;  the  late  one  was 
published  by  a  very  ignorant  printer  in  Cork,  a  man  of  the  name  of  M'Namara,  a 
person  who  was  not  capable  of  distinguishing  between  the  Rhemish  and  any 
other  edition  of  the  Bible.  lie  took  up  the  matter  merely  as  a  speculation  in  trade. 
He  meant  to  publish  a  Catholic  Bible,  and  having  put  his  hand  upon  the  Rhemish 
edition,  he  commenced  to  print  it  in  numbers.  He  subsequently  became  bankrupt, 
and  his  property  in  this  transaction  vested  in  Mr,  Gumming,  a  respectable  book- 
seller in  this  city,  who  is  either  a  Protestant  or  Presbyterian ;  but  he  carried  on 
the  work,  like  M'Namara,  merely  to  make  money  of  it,  as  a  mercantile  speculation ; 
and  yet,  said  Mr.  O'Connell,  our  enemies  have  taken  it  up  with  avidity ;  they  have 
asserted  that  the  sentiments  of  those  notes  are  cherished  by  the  Catholics  in  this 
country.  He  would  not  be  surprised  to  read  of  speeches  in  the  next  Parliament 
on  the  subject.  It  was  a  hundred  to  one  but  that  some  of  our  briefless  barristers 
have  already  commenced  composing  their  dull  calumnies,  and  that  we  shall  have 
speeches  from  them,  for  the  edification  of  the  Legislature,  and  the  protection  of 
the  Cliurch.  _  There  was  not  a  moment  to  be  lost— the  Catholics  should,  with  one 
voice,  disclaim  those  very  odious  doctrines.  He  was  sure  there  was  not  a  single 
Catholic  in  jfreland  that  did  not  feel  as  he  did,  abhorrence  at  the  principles  these 
notes  contain.  llUberality  has  been  attributed  to  the  Irish  people,  but  they  are 
grossly  wronged.     He  had  often  addressed  the  Catb.olic  people  of  Ireland.    He  ' 


always  found  tliem  applaud  every  sentiment  of  liberality,  and  the  doctrine  of  per- 
fect freedom  of  conscience  ;  the  right  of  every  human  being  to  have  his  religious 
creed,  whatever  that  creed  might  be,  unpolluted  by  the  impious  interference  of 
bigoted  or  oppre^s-ive  laws.  Those  sacred  rights,  and  that  generous  sentiment, 
were  never  uttered  at  a  Catliolic  aggregate  meeting,  witlioiit  receiving  at  the  in- 
stant tlie  loud  and  the  unanimous  applause  of  the  assembly. 

'■  It  might  be  said  that  tliose  meetings  were  composed  of.  mei-e  rabble.     Well,  be 
it  so.     For  one,  he  should  concede  that,  for  the  sake  of  argument.     But  what  fol- 
lowed ?     Why,  just  this: — that  the  Catholic  rabble,  witliout  the  advantages  of 
education,  or  of  the  influence  of  polished  society,  were  so  well  acquainted  with 
the  genuine  principles  of  Christian  charity,  that  they,  the  rabble,  adopted  and  ap- 
plauded sentiments  of  liberalit}',  and  of  religious  freedom,  wliicli,  unfortunately, 
met  but  litile  encouragement  from  the  polished  and  educated  of  other  sects." 
('I  lien  follows  the  passage  which  we  have  quoted  iu  tlie  preceding  article.) 
"  Mr.  O'Connell's  motion  was  put  and  carried,  the  words  beijig  amended  thus : 
"  '  That  a  Committee  be  appointed  to  draw  up  an  address  on  the  occasion  of  the 
late  publication  of  the  Rhemish  Testament,  with  a  view  to  have  the  same  submit- 
ted to  an  aggregate  meeting.' " 

Such,  sir,  are  the  history  and  the  authority  of  the  notes  put  to 
the  Rhemish  translation  of  the  New  Testament.  The  denuncia- 
tion of  Dr.  Troy  spoiled  the  sale  of  the  work  in  Ireland,  and  the 
publisher  sent  the  remaining  copies  for  sale  to  this  country ;  but 
even  this  did  not  remunerate  him,  as  his  loss  was  estimated  at 
£500  sterling.  It  must  have  been  from  one  of  these  exiled  copies, 
that  the  Protestant  edition,  published  in  this  city,  now  produced, 
was  taken.  These  being  the  facts  of  the  case,  if  I  were  a  Protest- 
ant, I  should  feel  ashamed  of  a  clergyman  of  my  church,  who,  from 
either  malice  or  ignorance,  should  take  up  such  a  book,  with  the  un- 
christian view  of  blackening  the  character  of  any  denomination  of 
my  fellow  citizens.  But  not  only  this,  sir,  but  look  at  the  array  of 
the  names  of  Protestant  ministers,  in  this  city,  certifying,  contrary 
to  the  fact,  that  this  text  and  these  notes  are  by  the  authority  of 
the  Catholic  Church,  and  then  say,  whether  there  is  no  prejudice 
against  the  Catholics  !     I  shall  now  dismiss  the  subject. 

Sir,  the  Methodist  gentleman,  in  the  whole  of  his  address,  in 
which  he  made  the  charge  I  have  now  disposed  of,  and  of  which  I 
wish  him  joy,  slyly  changed  the  nature  and  bearing  of  my  lan- 
guage in  the  remarks  I  made  last  evening.  For  instance,  respecting 
Purgatory,  of  which  I  observed  if  they  were  not  satisfied  with  our 
Purgatory  and  wished  to  go  further,  they  might  prove  the  truth  of 
the  proverb,  which  says  they  may  "  go  farther  and  fare  worse." 
He  said  I  "  sent  "  them  farther.  But  that  corresponds  with  the  rest. 
I  did  not  send  them  farther.  I  here  disavow  such  feelings  in  the  name 
of  human  nature,  and  of  that  venerable  religion  which  I  profess. 

But  he  has  seen  that  "  betting,"  as  he  was  pleased  to  call  it,  is  a 
sin,  because  forsooth,  "  he  would  get  my  money  without  an  equiva- 
lent." Now  I  think  he  suspected  the  contrary.  But  I  did  not  pro- 
pose betting.  His  calumny  had  taken  me  by  surprise  ;  but  was  it 
not  fortunate,  almost  providential,  that  I  had  at  hand  a  direct  refu- 
tation, for  if  his  charge  had  gone  abroad  uncontradicted,  the  igno- 
rant or  bigoted  would  have  taken  it  on  his  authority,  and  quoted  it 
with  as  much  jissurance  as  he  u'd  on  that  of  the  British  Critic — 


and  for  the  same  unholy  purpose.  He  took  me,  I  say,  at  an  unfair 
moment,  and  then  it  was,  I  stated,  that  if  the  gentleman  could 
prove  his  charge — there  were  gentlemen  here  who  had  confidence 
in  my  word,  and  I  said  I  would  pledge  myself  to  forfeit  $1000  to 
be  distributed  in  charities  to  the  poor,  as  this  council  might  direct, 
provided  he  would  agree  to  the  same  forfeiture,  if  he  failed  to  prove 
it.     This  is  not  betting. 

He  says  that  his  Church  has  taught  him  the  sinfulness  of  betting. 
But  this  did  not  deserve  that  name.  It  was  only  an  ordeal,  to  test 
his  confidence  in  the  veracity  of  the  slander  contained  in  the  Metho- 
dist Remonstrance.  I  may  not,  indeed,  have  the  same  scruples 
about  what  he  calls  gambling,  that  he  has  ;  but  I  do  remember, 
what  he  seems  to  have  forgotten,  that  there  is  a  precept  of  the 
Decalogue — a  commandment  of  the  living  God,  which  says  :  "  Thou 
shalt  not  bear  false  witness  against  thy  neighbor." 

I  now  pass  to  another  portion  of  this  gentleman's  remarks.  He 
contends  that  it  is  impossible  to  furnish  reading  lessons  from  history 
for  the  last  ten  centuries,  without  producing  what  must  be  offensive 
to  Catholics.  The  history  of  Catholics  is  so  black,  that  the  Public 
Schools  could  not,  in  his  view,  find  a  solitary  bright  page  to  refresh 
the  eye  of  the  Catholic  children.  This  is  set  forth  in  the  Remon- 
strance of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,  and  this  the  reverend 
gentleman  undertook  to  support  in  his  speech.  He  said  that  history 
must  not  be  falsified  for  our  accommodation.  That  the  black  and 
insulting  passages  against  us  and  our  religion,  placed  in  the  hands 
of  our  children  at  the  Public  Schools,  were  not  to  be  charged  as  a 
defect  in  the  system — inasmuch  as  the  Trustees  could  find  worse, 
but  would  be  obliged  to  falsify  history  itself  to  find  better.  From 
this  defence  you  can  judge  what  confidence  Catholics  can  place  in 
this  society,  or  in  the  schools  under  their  charge. 

I  contended  that  there  existed  portions  of  history  eminently  hon- 
orable to  Catholics.  But,  says  he,  "  history  is  philosophy,  teaching 
by  example — the  good  and  the  bad  must  be  taken  together."  Then 
how  does  it  happen  that  the  bad  alone  is  presented  in  the  Public 
Schools  ?  Besides,  if  all  the  good  and  all  the  bad  which  history 
ascribes  to  Catholics  must  be  presented,  it  would  make  a  library 
rather  large  for  a  class-book  in  the  Public  Schools.  Hence  the  ne- 
cessity of  a  selection  ;  and  how  is  it,  that  in  the  selection  the  bad  is 
brought  out,  and  the  good  passed  over  in  silence  as  if  it  did  not 
exist  ?  Why  is  the  burning  of  Huss  selected  ?  Why  the  burning 
of  Cranmer  ?  Why  are  our  children  taught  in  the  face  of  all  sense  and 
decency,  that  Martin  Luther  did  more  for  learning,  than  any  other 
man  "  since  the  days  of  the  Apostles  !"  Why  is  "  Phelim  Maghee  " 
represented  as  "  sealing  his  soul  with  a  wafer," — in  contempt  to  the 
holiest  mystery  known  to  Catholics,  the  Sacred  Eucharist  ?  Why 
are  intemperance  and  vice  set  forth  as  the  necessary  and  natural 
effects  of  the  Catholic  Religion  ?  All  this  put  in  the  hands  of  Catho- 
lic children,  by  this  society,  claiming  to  deserve  the  confidence  of 
Catholic  parents ! 


Now  the  Methodist  gentleman  says  that  all  this  is  right — that  the 
Trustees  could  not  possibly,  within  the  last  ten  centuries,  find  history 
which  would  offensive  to  Catholics — and  that  to  make  it 
otherwise,  it  must  be  falsified.  Now,  sir,  I  should  like  to  know, 
whether  it  can  be  expected  that  we  should  have  any  confidence  in 
schools,  for  the  support  of  which  we  are  taxed,  in  which  onr  re- 
ligious feelings  are  insulted,  our  children  perverted,  and  whose  advo 
cates  tell  us  gravely  that  we  ought  to  be  satisfied  that  things  can- 
not be  otherwise,  unless  history  is  to  be  falsified  for  our  convenience ! 
To  this  we  never  shall  consent !  Religious  intolerance  has  done 
much  to  degrade  us,  and  its  most  dangerous  instrument  was  dejjriv- 
ing  us  of  education. 

The  gentleman  (Dr.  Bond)  has  corrected  some  of  my  remarks  of 
last  evening,  on  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church.  The  fact  is,  the 
style  of  Remonstrance  presented  here,  as  emanating  from  that 
Church,  imposed  on  me  the  necessity  of  alluding  to  the  history  and 
principles  of  that  denomination.  It  is  unpleasant  to  me,  at  any  time, 
to  use  language  calculated  to  wound  the  feelings  of  any  sect  or  class 
of  my  felloAV  citizens.  But  they  who  offer  the  unprovoked  insult, 
must  not  complain  of  the  retort.  I  stated  that  the  Methodists  in 
England  had  never  done  a  solitary  act  to  aid  in  the  spread  of  civil 
and  religious  liberty  in  that  country;  that  whilst  the  Catholics 
aided  the  Dissenters  in  obtaining  the  repeal  to  the  Test  and  Corpo- 
ration Acts,  the  Methodists  never  contributed  to  that  measure,  by 
so  much  as  one  petition  in  its  favor.  But  it  appears  I  fell  into  a 
mistake,  which  the  gentleman  corrected  with  great  precision  and 
gravity.  The  "  Methodist  Society,"  in  England,  he  tells  us,  is  some- 
thing quite  different  from  the  "  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,"  in 
the  United  States.  The  former  consider  themselves  only  as  a  society 
in  the  Established  Church,  just  as  the  religious  orders,  the  Domi- 
nicans, Jesuits,  &c.,  are  in  the  Catholic  communion.  Certainly  it 
is  new  to  me  to  learn  that  the  Methodists  and  the  Church  of 
England  are  in  such  close  and  affectionate  spiritual  relationship. 
For  although  the  Methodists  consider  themselves  a  society  within 
the  pale  of  the  Establishment,  the  members  of  the  Established 
Church  are  quite  of  a  different  opinion,  since  it  was  only  the  other 
day  that  I  read  of  a  Presbyter  of  that  Church  having  been  suspend- 
ed by  his  Bishop,  for  having  preached  in  a  Methodist  Meeting- 
house !  So  that  the  affection  of  the  Methodists  for  the  Church  of 
England,  does  not  appear  to  be  very  cordially  reciprocated. 

This  gentleman  tells  us  that  the  Methodists,  who  are  only  a 
'■•  Society "  in  England,  are  an  "  Episcopal  Church  in  America." 
Yes,  sir,  Mr.  "Wesley,  who  was  himself  but  a  Priest,  actually  conse- 
crated a  Bi$HOP  for  the  United  States  !  And  hence  the  Methodist 
Episcopal  Church — a  new  order  of  Episcopacy,  deriving  their  au- 
thority and  character  from  Mr.  John  "Wesley,  a  mere  Priest.  But, 
with  or  without  Bishops,  their  whole  history  proves  how  much 
they  imbibed  of  the  intolerance  of  the  established  Church  of  Eng- 
land, to  which  he  tells  us  they  are  so  intimately  allied  in  that  coun- 

Ii2  ARCHBISHOP  hughes'  second  speech 

try,  bii  t  which  at  all  times  spurns  the  connection.  This  same  John 
AVesley  held  and  wrote  that  no  government  ought  to  grant  tolera- 
tion to"  Catholics  ;  because,  forsooth,  either  from  ignorance  of  Catho- 
lic doctrines  or  bigotry  against  them,  he  was  pleased  to  believe  and 
assert  falsely  that  they  held  it  lawful  to  murder  heretics.  When 
the  government  of  Great  Britain  was  about  to  mitigate  the  code  of 
penal  laws  and  persecution  against  the  Catholics,  in  1780,  who  was 
more  fervent  and  fanatical  in  opposition  to  the  exercise  of  mercy 
than  John  Wesley  ?  The  great  object  of  the  Protestant  Association, 
headed  by  Lord  Geoi'ge  Gordon,  was  to  oppose  the  least  mitigation 
of  sevei'ity.  Who  was  more  active  in  the  intellectual  operations  of 
that  society  than  Mr.  John  Wesley  ?  Under  the  leadership  of  Lord 
George  Gordon  they  raised  a  rebellion  in  that  year,  and  when  the 
mob  had  plundered,  destroyed,  and  burnt  the  houses  and  churches 
of  the  Catholics,  spread  consternation  throughout  the  city  of  Lon- 
don, and  caused  human  blood  to  flow  in  torrents,  we  have  this  same 
Wesley,  with  sanctimonious  gravity,  charging  it  all  on  the  Catho- 
lics—the victims  of  its  fury — and  contending  that  it  was  a  "  Popish 
plot."  His  services  in  that  Association  had  been  acknowledged  by 
a  unanimovs  vote  of  thanks,  dated  "February  ITth  of  that  very  year. 
This  was  in  1780 — when  the  mighty  events  which  had  occurred  in 
this  country  taught  the  British  government  the  expediency  of  relax- 
ing the  penal  laws  against  so  large  a  portion  of  her  subjects  in 
England  and  Ireland.  The  rebound  of  those  events  had  been  felt 
throughout  the  world.  They  were  the  events  created  and  accom- 
plished by  the  great  fathers  of  this  Republic,  then  struggling  into 
existence ;  and  whilst  Catholics  and  Protestants  fought  bravely 
side  by  side  in  the  ranks  of  independence — while  a  Catholic  Carroll 
was  signing  its  charter,  and  another  Carroll,  a  Priest,  and  (tell  it 
not  in  Gath)  a  Jesuit,  was  employed  on  an  embassy  to  render  the 
population  of  Canada  friendly,  or  at  least  not  hostile  to  our  strug- 
gle ;  whilst  a  Catholic  Commodore,  Barry,  was  doing  the  office  of  a 
founder  and  father  to  our  young  and  gallant  Navy,  what  was  John 
Wesley  doing  ?  He  was  creeping  to  the  British  throne  to  lay  at 
the  feet  of  His  llajesty's  government  the  offer  to  raise  a  regiment 
and  put  them  at  the  disposal  of  the  crown,  expressly  to  put  down 
what  he  called  the  "  American  Rebellion  ;"  to  crush  the  rising  lib- 
erties of  your  infant  country ! 

Now,  sir,  I  think  I  was  authorized  to  state  that  the  Methodists 
have  done  as  little  for  the  spread  of  human  liberty,  the  rights  and 
equality  of  mankind,  as  any  other  denomination — no  matter  how 
old  or  how  young.  If  they  have  not  done  extensive  mischief,  of 
which  the  gentleman  boasts,  it  is  to  be  remembered  that  they  never 
possessed  supreme  civil  power,  and  that  in  the  order  of  time  they 
have  been  too  insignificant,  and  are  still  too  juvenile  to  have  done 
extensive  evil.  If  they  have  done  private  good,  as  the  gentleman 
contends,  I  confess  it  reminds  me  of  Stephen  Girard's  charity.  He 
was  exceedingly  rich  ;  and  because  he  was  rich,  people  thought  he 
was  very  wise.     And  inasmuch  as  he  despised  all  external  ehow  of 


religion,  it  was  inferred  he  was  very  charitable  to  the  poor,  without, 
however  making  a  display  of  it.  If  it  was  so,  no  man  ever  jjrac- 
ticed  better  the  comisel  of  the  Gospel,  "  not  to  let  the  left  liarld 
know  what  the  right  hand  doeth  "  in  the  matter.  It  was  so  private 
that  no  one  ever  could  find  it  out.  So  it  is  with  the  Methodist 
Church  with  regard  to  any  public  benefit  ever  conferred  on  man- 
kind ;  we  have  yet  to  hear  of  it. 

I  will  now  satisfy  the  gentleman  on  another  subject  which  seems 
to  trouble  him,  and  on  which  he  "  should  like  to  know."  And  as 
other  gentlemen  have  alluded  to  it,  I  hope  the  same  explanation 
will  suffice  in  reply  to  them  all. 

Before  the  British  government  released  the  Catholics  from  the 
penalties  under  which  they  labored,  among  which  not  the  least  was 
the  exclusion  of  the  schoolmaster,  they  called  upon  them  to  disavow 
principles  which  they  knew  Catholics  did  not  entertain.  But  in 
order  to  reconcile  the  prejudices  of  the  English  people,  they  had  an 
investigation  of  those  imputed  principles  before  the  houses  of  Par- 
liament;  they  called  upon  some  distinguished  Catholic  citizens  and 
questioned  them  on  several  points  such  as  those  the  gentleman  has 
so  frequently  referred  to,  among  which  was  the  spiritual  authority 
of  the  Pope.  From  the  testimony  which  they  took  I  now  quote. 
It  is  part  of  the  testimony  of  Dr.  Doyle,  Bishop  of  Kildare ;  but 
other  bishops  and  public  men  were  a;ll  examined  on  the  same 

Question.  "  According  to  the  principles  which  govern  the  Ro- 
man Catholic  Church  in  Ireland,  has  the  Pope  any  authority  to 
issue  commands,  ordinances,  or  injunctions,  general  or  special,  with- 
out the  consent  of  the  King?" 

Answer.     "  He  has." 

"  Question.  "  If  he  should  issue  such  orders,  are  the  subjects  of 
His  Majesty,  particularly  the  clergy,  bound  to  obey  them  ?" 

Answer.  "  The  orders  that  he  has  a  right  to  issue  must  I'egard 
things  that  are  of  a  spiritual  nature ;  and  when  his  commands  re- 
gard such  things,  the  clergy  are  bound  to  obey  them ;  but  were  he 
to  issue  commands  regarding  things  not  spiritual,  the  clergy  are  not 
in  anywise  bound  to  obey  them." 

Consequently,  if  His  Holiness,  as  the  gentleman,  Mr.  Ketchum, 
said,  should  forbid  the  reading  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence, 
it  would  not  be  of  any  authority. 

Mr.  Ketchum.    Does  the  book  say  so  ? 

Bishop  Hughes.  I  am  authority  myself  in  matters  of  my  reli- 
gion. Surely,  sir,  I  am  not  here  to  betray  it ;  and  I  am  astonished 
that  the  gentleman  is  not  better  acquainted  with  history  on  the 
matter.  He  amused  us  a  little  while  ago  with  the  idea  of  what  ter- 
rible consequences  might  ensue  if  the  Pope,  a  "foreign  potentate," 
should  forbid  us  to  read  the  Declaration  of  Independence  ;  or  forbid 
the  reading  of  the  Bible  in  our  Common  Schools.  He  even  apolo- 
gized for  his  alarm  with  singular  simplicity:  "he  meant  no  reflec- 
tion.   This  matter  had  come  out  in  evidence  here."     It  was  then, 

174  AECHBisnop  hughes'  second  speech 

sir,  I  wondered  at  his  not  ha-ving  read  history,  or  having  read  it  to 
so  little  advantage. 

Did  he  not  know  that,  long  before  the  Declaration  of  Indepen- 
dence, Venice  rose  out  of  the  sea,  a  Catholic  State,  with  all  her  re- 
publican glory  round  about  her  ?  And  when  the  Pope,  in  his  capa- 
city of  "fore-ign  potentate,"  attempted  to  invade  her  temporal 
rights,  her  Catholic  sons  did  what  they  ought  to  have  done,  they 
unsheathed  their  swords  and  routed  his  troops.  Did  they  thereby 
forfeit  their  allegiance  to  him  as  spiritual  Head  of  the  Church  on 
earth  ?  N'ot  an'iota,  of  it.  To  a  man  who  reads  history,  and  under. 
stands  it,  this  fact  alone  points  out  the  difference,  in  the  creed  of 
Catholics,  between  the  Pope  and  the  potentate.  The  Venetians 
knew  that  the  Pope,  in  his  spiritual  capacity,  belongs  to  a  kingdom 
which  is  not  of  this  world.  And  the  allegiance  of  Catholics  to  him, 
out  of  his  own  small  dominions,  is  due  to  him  only  in  his  spiritual 
capacity.  Whatever  temporal  right  was  acquired  over  independent 
states  by  the  Popes  in  former  ages,  was  owing  to  no  principle  of 
Catholic  doctrine,  but  purely  to  the  disorders  of  the  times  and  the 
pusillanimity  of  weak  rulers,  who,  in  order  to  secure  the  Pope's  pro- 
tection, made  themselves  his  vassals.  The  Popes,  in  such  circum- 
stances, would  have  been  more  or  less  than  men,  had  they  refused 
to  embrace  these  opportunities  of  aggrandizement  so  placed  within 
their  reach,  and  often  pressed  upon  them.  Now  every  Catholic  is 
familiar  with  this  view  of  the  subject,  and  yet,  except  a  few  of  larger 
minds  and  better  education,  it  has  hardly  penetrated  the  density  of 
Protestant  prejudice.  Hence  you  hear  them  giving  the  most  ab- 
surd construction  to  the  duties  of  Catholics  between  the  supposed 
conflicting  claims  of  their  country  and  the  imputed  principles  of 
theii-  religion.  Permit  me  here  to  call  your  attention  to  the  true 
and  beautiful  exposition  of  the  case  as  set  forth  in  the  language  of  a 
gentleman  who,  though  a  Catholic,  is  acknowledged  to  be  a  man  of 
as  high  honor,  as  lofty  and  patriotic  principles,  and  as  unblemished 
a  character,  as  any  man  the  nation  can  boast  of:  I  mean  Judge 
Gaston,  of  North  Carolina.  The  State  has  no  son  of  whom  she  is, 
or  ought  to  be,  prouder.  And  yet,  up  till  within  a  few  years,  the 
laws  of  that  State  disqualified  a  Catholic  from  holding  any,  even  the 
office  of  a  constable.  In  a  speech  made  by  Judge  Gaston,  in  the 
Convention  for  revising  the  State  Constitution,  in  reference  to  this 
matter,  he  says : 

"  But  it  has  been  objected,  that  the  Catholic  religion  is  iinfaTorable  to  freedom ; 
nay,  even  incompatible  with  republican  institutions.  Ingenious  speculations  on 
Buch  matters  are  worth  little,  and  prove  still  less.  Let  me  ask  who  obtained  the 
great  charter  of  English  freedom  but  the  Catholic  prelates  and  barons  at  Eunny- 
mede  ?  The  oldesi,,  the  j/ures\.  Jemocracy  on  earth  is  the  little  Catholic  republic 
of  San  Marino,  not  a  day's  journey  from  Rome.  It  has  existed  now  for  fourteen 
hundred  years,  and  is  so  jealous  of  arbitrary  power,  that  the  executive  authority 
is  divided  between  two  Governors,  who  are  elected  every  three  months.  Was 
William  Tell,  the  founder  of  Swiss  liberty,  a  royalist?  Are  the  Catholics  of  the 
Swiss  cantons  in  love  with  tyranny?  Are  the  Irish  Catholics  friends  to  passive 
obedience  and  non-resistance  ?  Was  Lafayette,  Pulaski,  or  Kosciusko,  a  foe  to 
civil  freedom  ?    Was  Charles  Carroll,  of  CarroUton,  unwilling  to  jeopard  fortune  in 


the  cause  of  liberty  ?  Let  me  giye  yon,  however,  the  testimony  of  Geovge  Wash- 
ington. On  his  accession  to  the  Presidency,  he  was  addressed  by  tlie  American 
Catholics,  who,  adverting  to  the  restrictions  on  their  worship  then  existing  in  some 
of  the  States,  expressed  themselves  thus:  'The  prospect  of  national  prosperity  is 
peculiarly  pleasing  to  us  on  another  account ;  because,  while  our  country  preserves 
her  freedom  and  independence,  we  shall  have  well  founded  title  to  claim  from  her 
justice  the  equal  rights  of  citizenship  as  the  price  of  our  blood  spilt  under  your 
eye,  and  of  our  common  exertions  for  her  defence,  under  your  auspicious  conduct.' 
This  great  man,  who  was  utterly  incapable  of  flattery  and  deceit,  utters,  in  an.swer, 
the  following  sentiments,  which  I  give  in  his  own  words :  '  As  mankind  beeome 
more  liberal,  they  AviU  be  more  apt  to  allow  that  all  those  who  conduct  themselves 
as  worthy  members  of  the  community  are  equally  entitled  to  the  protection  of 
civil  government.  I  hope  ever  to  see  America  among  the  foremost  nations  in 
examples  of  justice  and  liberality;  and  I  presume  that  your  fellow-citizens  will 
never  forget  the  patriotic  part  which  you  took  in  the  accomplishment  of  their  rev- 
olution, and  the  establishment  of  their  government,  or  the  important  assistance 
which  they  received  from  a  nation  in  which  the  Roman  Catholic  faith  is  professed.' 
By  the  by,  sir,  I  would  pause  for  a  moment  to  call  the  attention  of  this  committee 
to  some  of  the  mimes  subscribed  to  this  address.  Among  them  are  those  of  John 
Carroll,  the  first  Roman  Catholic  bishop  of  the  United  States ;  Charles  Carroll,  of 
CarroUton,  and '1  homas  Fitzsimmons.  For  the  characters  of  these  distinguished 
men,  if  they  needed  vouchers,  I  would  confidently  call  on  the  venerable  President 
of  this  Convention.  Bishop  tJarroll  was  one  of  the  best  men  and  most  humble  and 
devout  of  Chrisiians.  1  shall  never  forget  a  tribute  to  his  memory  paid  by  the  good 
and  venerable  Protestant  Bishop  White,  when  contrasting  the  piety  with  which 
the  Christian  Carroll  met  death,  with  the  cold  trifling  that  characterized  tlie  last 
moments  of  the  skeptical  l)a\  id  Hume.  I  know  not  whether  the  tribute  was  more 
honorable  to  the  piety  of  the  dead,  or  to  the  charity  of  the  living  prelate.  Charles 
Carroll,  of  CarroUton,  the  last  survivor  of  the  signers  of  American  Indepen- 
dence— at  whose  death  both  houses  of  the  Legislature  of  North  Carolina  unan- 
imously testified  their  sorrow,  as  at  a  national  bereavement  I  Thomas  Fitzsim- 
mons, one  of  the  illusirions  Convention  that  framed  the  Constitution  of  the  United 
States,  and  for  several  years  the  Representative  in  Congress  from  the  city  of  Phila- 
delphia. Were  these,  and  such  as  these,  foes  to  freedom  and  unfit  for  republican- 
ism ?  Would  it  be  dangerous  to  permit  such  men  to  be  sheriffs  and  constables  in 
the  land  ?  Read  the  funeral  eulogium  of  Charles  Carroll,  delivered  at  Rome  by 
Bishop  England — one  of  the  greatest  ornaments  of  the  American  Catholic  Church 
— a  foreigner,  indeed,  by  birth,  but  an  American  by  adoption,  and  who  becoming 
an  American,  solemnly  abjured  all  allegiance  to  every  foreign  king,  prince,  and 
potentate  whatever — that  eulogium  which  was  so  much  carped  at  by  English  roy- 
alists and  English  tories — and  I  think  you  will  find  it  democratic  enough  to  suit 
the  taste  and  find  an  echo  in  the  heart  of  the  sternest  republican  amongst  us. 
Catholics  are  of  all  countries,  of  all  governments,  of  all  political  creeds.  Li  all  they 
are  taught  that  the  kingdom  of  Christ  is  not  of  this  world,  and  that  it  is  their  duty 
to  render  unto  Csesar  the  things  that  are  Cffisar's,  and  unto  God  the  things  that  are 

I  shall  now  proceed  with  the  testimony  of  the  Irish  Bishops  in 
order,  which  was  interrupted  by  the  gentleman's  question. 

Here,  sir,  is  the  testimony  of  another  bishop — Dr.  Murray,  tlM 
present  Archbishop  of  Dublin — before  a  Committee  of  the  British 

"  To  what  extent  and  in  what  manner  does  a  Catholic  profess  to  obey  the  Pope  1 
— Solely  in  spiritual  matters,  or  in  such  mixed  matters  as  come  under  his  govern- 
ment: such  as  marriage,  for  instance,  which  we  hold  to  be  a  sacrament  as  well  as 
a  civil  contract.  As  it  is  a  sacrament,  it  is  a  spiritual  thing,  and  comes  under  the 
jurisdiction  of  the  Pope;  of  course  he  has  authority  over  that  spiritual  part  of  it; 
but  this  authority  docs  not  atfect  the  civil  rights  of  the  individuals  contracting. 


"Does  this  obedience  detract  from  what  13  due  by  a  Catholic  to  the  State  under 
which  he  lives  ?— Not  in  the  least ;  (he  powers  are  wholly  distinct. 

"  Does  it  justify  an  objection  that,  is  made  to  Catholics,  that  their  allegiance  13 
divided  ?— Their  allegiance  in  civil  matters  is  completely  undivided. 

"  Is  the  duty  which  the  Catholic  owes  to  the  Tope,  and  the  duty  which  he  owes 
to  the  King,  really  and  substantially  distinct?— Wholly  distinct ! 

"  How  far  is  the  claim,  that  some  Popes  have  set  up  to  Temporal  Authority, 
opposed  to  Scripture  and  Tradition  ?— As  far  as  it  may  have  been  exercised  as 
coming  from  a  right  granted  to  him  by  God,  it  appears  to  me  to  be  contrary  to 
Scripture  and  tradition ;  but  as  far  as  it  may  have  been  exercised  in  consequence 
of  a  right  conferred  on  him  by  the  different  Christian  powers,  who  looked  up  to 
him  at  one  time  as  the  great  parent  of  Christendom,  who  appointed  him  as  the 
arbitrator  of  their  concerns,  many  of  whom  submitted  their  kingdoms  to  him,  and 
laid  them  at  his  feet,  consenting  to  receive  them  back  from  him  as  fiefs,  the  case 
is  different.  The  power  that  he  exercised  under  that  authority  of  course  passed 
away  when  those  temporal  princes  who  granted  it  chose  to  withdraw  it.  His 
spiritual  power  does  not  allow  him  to  dethrone  kings,  or  to  absolve  their  subjects 
from  the  allegiance  due  to  them ;  and  any  attempt  of  that  kind  I  would  consider 
contrary  to  Scripture  and  tradition. 

"  Does  the  Pope  now  dispose  of  temporal  affairs  within  .the  kingdoms  of  any  of 
the  princes  of  the  Continent  ? — Not  that  I  am  aware  of;  I  am  sure  he  does  not. 

"  Do  the  Catholic  clergy  admit  that  all  the  bulls  of  the  Pope  are  entitled  to  obe- 
dience?— They  are  entitled  to  a  certain  degree  of  reverence.  If  not  contrary 
to  our  usages,  or  contrary  to  the  law  of  God,  of  course  they  are  entitled  to 
obedience,  as  coming  from  a  superior.  We  owe  obedience  to  a  parent,  we 
owe  obedience  to  the  king,  we  owe  it  to  the  law;  but  if  a  parent,  the  king,  or  the 
law,  were  to  order  us  to  do  anything  that  is  wrong,  we  would  deem  it  a  duty  to 
say,  as  the  Apostles  did  on  another  occasion,  '  We  ought  to  obey  God  rather  than 

"  Are  there  circumstances  under  which  the  Catholic  clergy  would  not  obey  a  bull 
of  the  Pope  ? — Most  certainly. 

"  What  is  the  true  meaning  of  the  following  words,  in  the  creed  of  Pius  IV. :  '  I 
promise  and  swear  true  obedience  to  the  Roman  bishop,  the  successor  of  St.  Peter?' — 
Canonical  obedience,  in  the  manner  I  have  just  described,  within  the  sphere  of  his 
own  authority. 

"  What  do  the  principles  of  the  Catholic  religion  teach,  in  respect  to  the  perform- 
ance of  civil  duties  ? — They  teach  that  the  performance  of  civil  duties  is  a  consci- 
entious obligation  which  the  law  of  God  imposes  on  us. 

"  Is  the  divine  law  then  quite  clear,  as  to  the  allegiance  due  by  subjects  to  their 
prince  ? — Quite  clear. 

"  In  what  books  are  to  be  found  the  most  authentic  exposition  of  the  Faith  of  the 
Catholic  Church  ? — In  that  very  creed  that  has  been  mentioned,  the  creed  of  Pius 
IV. ;  in  the  Catechism  which  was  published  by  the  direction  of  the  Council  of 
Trent,  called  '  The  Roman  Catechism,'  or  'The  Catechism  of  ihe  Council  of  Trent;' 
'  An  Exposition  of  the  Catholic  Faith,  by  the  Bishop  of  Meaux,  Bossuet ;'  '  Verron's 
Rule  of  Faith ;'  '  Holden's  Analysis  of  Faith'  and  several  others." 

Such  is  the  character  and  limitation  of  the  Pope's  authority,  at- 
tested under  oath,  by  bishops  and  other  Catholic  dignitaries  before 
the  British  Parliament.  The  Catholics  of  Great  Britain  and  Ireland 
had  been  bowed  down  to  the  earth,  by  penal  laws  and  persecution, 
during  three  hundred  years — with  nothing  between  them  and  the 
enjoyment  of  all  their  rights,  but  the  solemnity  of  an  oath.  If  their 
conscience  had  permitted  them  to  swear  what  they  did  not  believe, 
they  might  have  entered  on  their  political  rights  at  any  time,  and 
yet  as  inartyrs  to  the  sacredness  of  conscience  they  resisted. 

I  have  now,  sir,  supplied  the  reverend  gentleman,  who  presented 


the  remonstrance  from  the  Methodist  Episcopal  CImrch,  with  all  the 
information  which  the  occasion  permits  on  the  subject  of  the  Pope's 
anthority.  But  there  is  a  good  deal  more  to  which,  if  time  allowed, 
I  might  address  myself.  He  became  very  logical,  and  insisted  on 
the  fact,  that  the  doctrines  of  the  Catholic  Church  are  always  the 
same,  immutable.  He  says  that  we  boast  of  this ;  and  we  do  so, 
most  assuredly.  From  the  hour  when  they  were  revealed  and  taught 
by  ^divine  authority  until  the  present,  from  the  rising  to  the  setting 
of  the  sun,  the  Faith  of  the  Catholic  believer,  and  the  doctrines  of 
the  Catholic  Church,  are  everlastingly  and  universally  the  same. 
But  then  he  concludes,  that,  as  Catholics  in  some  instances  in  former 
times  persecuted,  so,  their  religion  being  always  -the  same,  they  are 
still  bound  to  persecute,  or  else  disavow  the  doctrine,  as  Protestants 
do.  Now,  sir,  we  do  disavow  and  despise  the  doctrine  of  persecu- 
tion in  all  its  essence  and  forms.  But  does  it  follow  that  by  this  we 
disavow  any  doctrine  of  the  Catholic  Church  ?  By  no  means.  And 
this  proves  that  persecution  never  was  any  portion  of  the  Catholic 
faith ;  for  if  it  had  been,  the  denial  of  it  would  cut  us  off  from  her 
communion.  The  Church  we  believe,  by  the  promise  and  superin- 
tendence of  Christ,  her  invisible  head  and  founder,  to  be  infallible. 
She  received  the  deposit  of  the  doctrines  revealed  by  our  Redeemer 
and  his  Apostles ;  her  office  is  to  witness,  teach,  and  preserve  them. 
These  alone  constitute  the  religious  creed  and  doctrines  of  the  Cath- 
olic Church  and  her  members.  We  believe  in  a  Trinity,  the  Incar- 
nation of  Christ,  the  Redemption  by  his  death,  the  Divine  Institution 
of  the  Church.  These  and  whatever  the  Church  holds,  as  of  Divine 
Revelation,  are  the  doctrines  of  out  Catholic  unity.  And  the  indi- 
vidual who  is  now  addressing  you,  and  the  Catholic  martyr  who  is 
at  this  moment  perhaps  bleeding  for  his  faith  in  China — for  the 
Church  has  her  martyrs  still — hold  and  believe  identically  the  same 
doctrines.  But  as  there  is  unity  in  faith,  so  there  is,  in  the  Church, 
freedom  of  opinion  on  matters  which  are  not  determined  by  any 
specific  revelation.  Hence  we  are  republicans,  or  monarchists,  ac- 
cording to  individual  preference,  or  the  prevailing  genius  of  the 
country  we  belong  to.  Hence,  when  the  Catholic  divines  at  Rheims 
were  appending  these  notes  to  their  edition  of  the  New  Testament, 
the  Catholic  bishops  of  Poland,  with  her  twenty-two  millions,  were 
opening  the  doors  of  the  Constitution  to  the  fugitive  Protestants  of 
Germany,  fleeing  from  the  intolerance  and  persecution  of  their  fellovs' 
Protestants.  The  one  act  is  as  much  a  Catholic  doctrine  as  the  other, 
because  in  both  cases  the  agents  acted,  not  by  the  aathority  of  the 
Church,  but  in  the  exercise  of  that  individual  judgment  for  which 
their  account  stands  to  God. 

But  I  must  be  brief.  I  cannot  follow  so  many  learned  speakers 
through  so  much  matter  that  is  foreign  to  the  subject ;  for  I  agree 
with  the  medical  gentleman  who  said  that  neither  the  Catholic  nor 
the  Protestant  religion  was  on  trial  here  ;  it  is  not  religious  creeds 
that  are  to  be  tested  by  this  Council.  I  have,  however,  given  this 
explanation,  and  I  trust  it  will  be  received,  though  it  may  have  been 

178  ARCHBISHOP   hughes'   SECOND   SPEECH 

tedious,  as  having  its  apology  in  the  remarks  which  called  it  forth. 
I  only  wish  that  the  gentleman  who  made  the  observation  had 
made  it  one  hour  and  a  half  sooner ;  it  would  have  saved  all  I  have 
said  on  the  subject. 

But  this  speaker  also  [Doctor  Reese],  lectured  me  for  attending 
certain  meetings,  as  if  it  were  a  descent  from  my  dignity  to  find  my- 
self in  an  assembly  of  freemen.  I  did  not  consider  it  as  a  descent. 
But  really  when.  I  came  here  in  the  simple  character  of  a  citizen,  1  did 
not  think  I  should  be  vested  with  my  official  robes  for  the  purpose 
of  being  attacked.  Individuals  as  respectable  as  he  attended  those 
meetings,  and  I  consider  it  no  disgrace  to  have  been  there  or  here ; 
for  even  if  this  petition  came  not  from  Catholics,  but  from  Metho- 
dists, or  any  other  Protestant  denomination,  whose  consciences  were 
violated  by  this  system,  I  should  be  found  in  their  midst  supporting 
their  claim.  Let  me  add,  too,  that  I  would  rather  be  so  found,  than, 
for  all  the  exchequer  of  the  Public  School  Society,  exchange  places 
with  gentlemen,  and  have  conscience  and  right  for  my  opponents. 
He  also  contended  that  this  want  of  confidence  in  Catholics  was  the 
result  of  my  appeals,  forgetting  that  the  state  of  things  which  is  now 
brought  under  public  notice  has  existed  for  years,  by  efforts  to  pro- 
vide a  safe  education  for  our  children,  long  before  those  meetings 
were  called,  and  before  I  attended  them.  And  besides,  I  conceive 
it  is  my  bounden  duty,  if  I  saw  principles  inculcated  which  will  sap 
the  young  minds  of  our  children — and  I  have  no  doubt  this  Honora- 
ble Board  will  say  it  is  my  duty — to  warn  them  and  to  bring  them 
within  the  pale  of  that  authority  which  they  acknowledge.  I  won- 
der if  Presbyterian  gentlemen  would  see  CathoUc  books  circulated 
amongst  their  children  and  not  warn  their  people  against  them  ?  I 
wonder,  if  these  books  contained  reading  lessons  about  Calvin  and 
the  unhappy  burning  of  Servetus,  whether  they  would  not  warn  their 
people.  I  say,  if  they  believe  in  their  religion,  they  would  be  in  the 
discharge  of  their  duty.  And  while  on  this  subject,  it  occurs  to  me 
at  this  moment,  that  in  the  wide  range  of  observation  which  has 
been  taken,  reference  has  been  made  to  national  education  in  Ire- 
land. And  we  are  told  that  after  books  had  been  agreed  upon,  the 
bishops  sent  the  question  to  Rome,  to  be  decided  by  the  Pope. 
What  question?  Can  they  tell?  for  1  am  sure  1  cannot.  To  this 
day,  I  have  never  understood  the  exact  nature  of  the  reference  to 
the  Pope,  but,  sir,  this  is  no  extraordinary  thing.  Under  the  jealous 
eye  of  the  British  government,  even  in  the  darkest  hour  of  her  cru- 
elty to  Catholics,  their  intercourse  with  Rome  was  not  interrupted. 
But  while  that  collection  and  compilation  of  Scripture  lessons  was 
agreed  on  in  the  more  Cathohc  parts  of  the  country  where  the  pop- 
ulation is  divided  between  Protestants  and  Catholic,  what  is  the 
fact  ?  Why,  in  another  part,  the  North  of  Ireland,  where  the  Pres- 
byterians are  more  numerous,  they  had  conscientious  objections  to 
this  selection  of  Scripture,  they  asserted  their  objections,  and  the 
British  government  recognized  them ;  and  thus  while  these  lessons 
by  agreement  were  in  general  use,  an  exception  was  made  in  favor 


of  the  Presbyterians,  who  had  objections  to  the  use  of  anything  but 
the  naked  word  of  God ;  and  I  say,  honor  to  those  Presbyterians. 
The  Catholics  sent  in  no  remonstrance.  But  if  the  rule  applied  to 
their  case,  by  what  authority  will  your  honorable  body  determine 
that  it  shall  not  apply  to  ours  ?  Oh  !  I  perceive.  The  gentleman, 
whose  remarks  I  am*  reviewing,  reasoned  on  until  he  arrived  at  the 
conclusion  that  there  were  no  conscientious  grounds  for  our  objec- 
jection  at  all.  True,  we  said  we  had ;  but  he  could  not  see  what 
conscience  had  to  do  with  a  matter  so  plain.  He  said,  here  the 
community  had  built  up  a  beautiful  system ;  it  was  doing  good ;  he 
asked  shall  we  put  it  aside  in  deference  to  pretended  scruples  ? 
Now,  tell  me  when  the  despotism  of  intolerance  ever  said  anything 
else  than  this  ?  Why,  the  established  church  of  England  said,  "  we 
are  doing  good,"  "  our  doors  are  open  to  all,"  "  the  minister  is  at  the 
desk,  and  the  bread  of  life  is  distributed  for  the  public  good." 
What  then  ?  What  business  have  these  unhappy  parents  to  find 
fault  for  conscience  sake  and  squeamishness  ?  Now,  sii-,  objections 
can  exist  to  the  slightest  shade  of  violation  to  our  conscience,  and 
therefore,  I  did  not  expect  to  hear  this  argument  at  this  time  of  day. 
But  the  gentleman  speaks  of  my  addressing  the  public  meetings  to 
which  he  has  alluded,  as  though  my  speaking  there  had  been  the 
cause  instead  of  the  consequence  of  the  scruples  of  our  people. 
Then  it  was  I  joined  them  to  seek  a  remedy  for  our  just  complaint, 
but  if  in  your  wisdom  this  body  shall  think  proper  to  deny,  it  we 
must  bear  it. 

He  contended  again  that  it  would  be  turning  the  public  money  to 
private  uses.  That  seems  to  me  to  have  been  fully  answered.  He  also 
contended  that  it  would  be  the  giving  of  the  money  of  the  State  to 
support  religion.  That  I  have  disputed ;  for  if  so  I  shall  have  no 
objection  to  join  those  gentlemen  in  their  remonstrance.  But  at  the 
same  time  it  does  appear  strange  to  me  that  the  gentleman,  who 
pretends  to  have  read  the  Scriptures  with  so  much  attention,  should 
not  have  learned  that  principle — the  most  general,  sir,  and  the  most 
infallible  of  Christian  principles  for  the  guidance  of  our  conduct^;^ 


YOU."  That  is  the  principle ;  and  is  it  not  strange  that  such  oppo- 
sition should  be  made  to  us  when  it  is  known  that  money  raised  by 
public  tax  goes  to  the  support  of  literature  under  the  supervision  of 
the  Methodist  Episcopal  Chuech  ?  And  why  do  not  Catholics 
object  to  that  ?  Because  the  tax  does  not  belong  to  any  particular 
sect ;  it  is  thrown  into  a  common  fund  and  applied  to  such  uses  as  the 
legislature  in  its  wisdom  thinks  proper.  We,  sir,  however,  ask  for 
our  own  and  nothing  else.  But  if  yoii  say  that  we  shall  be  taxed 
for  a  system  which  is  so  organized  that  we  cannot  participate  in  it 
without  detriment  to  the  religious  rights  of  our  children,  then  I  say 
that  injustice  is  done  even  to  our  civil  rights ;  for  taxation  is  the 
basis  of  even  civil,  rights.  And  I  was  not  a  little  struck  in  the  course 
of  the  argument,  that  some  gentlemen  should  refer  with  so  much 
emphasis  as  to  a  circumstance  novel  and  unparalleled  even  in  social 


life — that  a  certain  class  of  gentlemen  should  petition  for  what  ? 
The  privilege  of  being  taxed !  They  deemed  it  a,  privilege,  and  that 
was  wonderful !  and  merit  was  ascribed  to  them  for  it.  Yes,  sir, 
but  did  it  go  to  the  extent  only  of  their  own  pockets  ?  Or  did  it 
not  reach  the  pockets  equally  of  those  who  did  not  petition?  If  to 
themselves  only,  it  was  all  fair,  and  proper,  dfsinterested  and  patri- 
otic :  but  gre^t  emphasis  was  laid  on  this  class  being  most  "  intelli- 
gent" and  "  wealthy"'  and  "  respectable,"  nobility  almost,  as  though 
a  question  of  this  kind  was  intended  for  a  particular  class.  But  let 
me  tell  you  the  honest  man  who  occupies  only  a  bed  in  a  garret,  is 
also  a  tax  payer.  Why  give  him  a  vote  ?  Because  he  pays  tax  for 
the  space  he  occupies.  If  he  occupies  a  room  and  pays  the  tax,  his 
rent  is  less — if  the  landlord  pays,  his  rent  is  so  much  more.  So,  if 
he  occupies  a  garret,  or  if  he  boards,  it  goes  down  to  that,  for  the 
person  who  keeps  the  boarding-house  pays  the  rent ;  if  that  tax  is 
paid  by  the  boarding-house  keeper  the  rent  is  so  much  less  than  if 
the  tax  was  paid  by  the  landlord.  If  the  boarding-house  keeper 
pays  the  tax,  he  charges  more  for  board.  So  that  the  boarder  is  a 
tax  payer,  and  it  is  so  understood  in  our  broad  and  excellent  system 
of  representation.  The  exclusive  merit  of  this  tax,  then,  is  not  to  be 
given  to  any  particular  class,  no  matter  how  wealthy ;  and  I  was 
surprised  that  so  much  emphasis  should  be  laid  on  it.  I  did  not 
suppose  that  the  interests  of  the  poor  were  to  be  sacrificed  to  the 
respectability  of  the  rich.  The  poor  pay  too ;  and  it  is  a  beautiful 
and  admirable  thing  to  see  what  a  dignity  this  confers  on  human 
nature — what  an  interest  this  excites  in  the  poor.  I  recollect  pass- 
ing along  a  street  some  time  since,  and  I  observed  a  little  house, 
almost  a  shed  or  hovel,  some  fourteen  or  sixteen  feet  square,  which 
was  too  small  to  be  divided  into  two  compartments.  It  had  but 
one  window,  and  this  had  originally  had  four  panes  of  glass,  but  one 
having  been  broken  it  was  darkened.  There  had  been  some  politi- 
cal party  triumph ;  the  boys  in  the  streets  had  their  drums  out  and 
there  appeared  to  be  a  popular  rejoicing,  and  there  I  saw  three  lights 
burning  in  the  window  of  this  poor  habitation.  I  was  amused  to 
see  that  a  man  living  in  so  poor  a  hovel,  and  unable  to  buy  a  fourth 
pane  of  glass,  should  find  means  to  light  the  other  three.  But  on 
further  reflection  I  said  to  myself,  "there  is  philosophy  there." 
What  other  nation  can  exhibit  such  a  spectacle  ?  This  poor  man, 
who  must  toil  till  the  day  he  goes  to  his  grave,  participates  in  a 
political  triumph.  His  bread  has  to  be  earned  by  daily  toil  never- 
theless; though  the  triumph  perhaps  will  never  benefit  him,  he 
exhibits  a  glorious  spectacle  to  the  world.  He  is  a  man— he  feels  it 
is  recognized.  It  is  a  nation's  homage  offered  to  human  nature. 
He  is  a  man  and  a  citizen  ;  and  on  reflection  I  was  delighted  at  a 
spectacle  so  glorious  as  this. 

But  returning  to  the  subject,  they  say  all  religion  is  left  to  volun- 
tary contribution.  Now  is  this  true  in  the  sense  in  which  it  is  here 
applied  ?  Are  not  chaplains  appointed  to  public  institutions  which 
are  supported  by  the  public  money  ?    And  have  you  not  given  it  to 


the  Protestant  Oi'phan  Asylum,  and  the  Half-orphan  Asylum?  Have 
you  not  given  it  to  the  Catholic  Benevolent  Society  ?  And  do  you  sup- 
pose the  Wesleyan  Catechism  is  taught  there  ?  Do  you  suppose  the 
Catholic  Catechism  is  taught  in  the  Protestant  Asylums?  One  gentle- 
man argued  that  you  had  not  the  power  to  do  this.  But  if  you  have 
done  it,  does  not  that  prove  that  you  had  the  power  ?  If  you  had 
power  to  do  that  you  have  power  equally  to  do  this.  I  shall  go 
further.  I  find  in  the  Report  of  the  Regents  of  the  University,  that 
the  Genesee  Wesleyan  Seminary — Theological  Seminary,  as  I  under- 
stand— has  last  year  received  $1,390.56  of  the  public  money.  This 
is  not  exclusively  literary^  as  I  understand  it — 

Dr.  Bangs.    Altogether  literary. 

Bishop  Hughes.  I  was  under  the  impression  that  it  was  Theolo- 
gical, and  that  religion  was  admitted.  But  .those  in  this  city  furnish 
evidence  that  a  religious  profession  does  not  disqualify. 

I  believe  now,  sir,  I  have  gone  through  the  substance  at  least,  if 
not  through  every  particular,  of  what  has  been  said  by  the  gentle- 
men who  interpose  their  remonstrances  and  their  arguments  in 
opposition  to  our  rightful  claim.  I  will  now  read  one  authority,  and 
I  am  the  more  willing  because  it  is  from  the  Public  School  Society 
themselves.  It  is  from  the  memorial  which  they  presented  to  the 
Legislature  in  the  Session  of  1823,  in  which  they  state,  page  7,  "It 
will  not  be  denied  " — recollect  I  do  not  quote  this  to  show  that  our 
petition  ought  to  be  granted ;  but  that,  whatever  opinion  these  gen- 
tlemen may  now  have  of  the  unconstitutionality  of  granting  this 
claim,  they  saw  nothing  unconstitutional  in  the  practice  then,  and  I 
know  of  nothing  so  far  as  the  constitution  is  concerned,  neither  of 
the  State,  nor  of  the  United  States — I  know  of  no  enactment  which 
should  change  their  opinion : 

"  It  will  not  be  denied,  in  this  enlightened  age,  that  the  education  of  the  poor 
is  enjoined  by  our  holy  religion,  and  is  therefore  one  of  the  duties  of  a  Christian 
Church.  Nor  is  there  any  impropriety  in  committing  the  School  Fund  to  the 
hands  of  a  religious  society,  so  long  as  they  are  confined,  in  the  appropriation  of 
it,  to  an  object  not  necessarily  connected  or  intermingled  with  the  other  concerns 
of  the  church,  as  for  instance  to  the  payment  of  teachers,  because  the  State  is  sure 
in  this  case,  that  the  benefits  of  the  fund,  in  the  way  it  designed  to  confer  them, 
will  be  reaped  by  the  poor.  But  the  objection  to  the  section  sought  to  be  repealed 
is,  that  the  surplus  moneys  after  the  payment  of  teachers,  is  vested  in  the  hands 
of  the  trustees  of  a  religious  society,  and  mingled  with  its  other  funds,  to  be  ap- 
propriated to  the  erection  of  buildings  under  the  control  of  the  trustees,  which 
.  buildings  may,  and  in  aU  probability  will,  be  used  for  other  purposes  than  school 

That  is  the  statement  of  the  Public  School  Society  itself;  and 
throughout  this  document — while  the  gentlemen  here  have  been 
wielding  against  our  petition  the  influence  of  respectable  and 
wealthy  classes — I  find  that  before  the  acquisition  of  their  monopoly^ 
they  advocated  the  claims  of  the  poor  who  cannot  buy  education — 
sometimes  scarcely  bread.  This  is  the  class  to  whose  welfare  the 
eye  of  the  enhghtened,  the  patriotic,  and  the  benevolent  should  be 
directed — this  is  the  class  that  essentially  requires  education.    Thus 


they  say,  "  The  School  Fund  is  designed  for  a  civil  purpose,  for  such 
is  the  education  of  the  poor." 

Again,  they  say  that  the  New  York  Free  School  (that  was  their 
own  Society)  has  "one  single  object,  the  education  of  the  poor." 
Again,  the  Board  of  Trustees  is  annually  chosen,  etc.,  "for  the  edu- 
cation of  the  poor."  And  yet  now  I  could  point  out  thousands  of 
our  poor  who  are  destitute  of  education,  and  who  have  no  means  to 
provide  it.  We  do  what  we  can,  but  we  are  too  limited  in  means 
to  raise,  of  ourselves,  a  sufficient  fund ;  we  have  labored  under  great 
disadvantages ;  we  have  taught  the  catechism  in  our  schools,  because, 
while  we  supported  them  we  had  the  right  to  do  so ;  but  if  you  put 
them  on  the  footing  of  the  common  schools  we  shall  be  satisfied,  and 
the  State  will  secure  the  education  of  our  children ;  you  will  secure  ■ 
them  an  education  on  the  basis  of  morality,  for  they  had  better  be 
brought  vtp  under  the  morality  of  our  religion,  though  gentlemen 
object,  than  none  at  all.  They  say  the  objection  to  the  present 
schools  is  that  there  they  are  made  Protestants.  No,  sir,  it  is  be- 
cause they  are  made  Nothingarians,  for  we  cannot  teU  what  they 
are.  I  have  now  concluded ;  and  if  I  have  been  obliged  to  trespass 
long  upon  your  patience,  recollect,  as  some  extenuation,  that  I  had  a 
great  deal  to  reply  to  in  the  arguments  of  gentlemen  which  were 
urged  to  overthrow  the  principles  of  our  petition,  but  had  no  bear- 
ing on  the  petition  at  all.  We  do  not  ask  for  the  elevation  of  the 
Catholics  over  others,  but  for  the  protection  to  which  all  are  en- 
titled. The  question  is  exceedingly  plain  and  simple.  If  it  has  or 
can  be  shown  that  we  are  claiming  this  money  for  sectarian  purposes, 
then  I  should  advise  you  to  withhold  it.  But  if  in  honesty,  and 
truth,  and  sincerity,  it  is  a  right  belonging  to  us  as  citizens,  to  re- 
ceive our  pro  rata,  then  we  appeal  to  you  with  confidence. 

From  the  sentiments  expressed  here  on  ■  behalf  of  the  Publio 
School  Society,  you  can  judge  of  the  chance  that  Catholic  children 
have  in  those  schools,  to  have  their  religious  rights  respected.  It 
will  be,  as  perhaps  it  has  been,  considered  a  great  and  good  work 
to  detach  them  from  a  religion  which  is  supposed  "to  teach  the 
lawfulness  of  murdering  heretics."  Infidelity  itself  will  be  con- 
sidered preferable  to  Catholicism  in  their  regard,  for  one  reverend 
gentleman  has  told  yon  that  if  there  was  no  alternative,  he  would 
embrace  the  doctrines  of  Voltaire  rather  than  the  religion  of  a 
Cheverus  or  a  Fenelon.  If  the  Catholics  have  been  obliged  to 
keep  their  children  from  those  schools  in  time  past,  you  may  imagine 
what  eifects  these  sentiments,  this  animus  of  the  system  is  likely  to 
have  on  their  minds  for  the  time  to  come.  But  if  it  is  our  religious 
right  to  have  a  conscience  at  all,  do  not  take  pains  to  pervert  it,  for 
we  shall  not  be  better  citizens  afterwards.  Do  not  teach  us  to  slight 
the  admonitions  of  our  conscience.  Keverse  our  case  and  make  it 
your  own,  and  then  you  will  be  able  to  judge.  Make  it  your  own 
case,  and  suppose  your  children  were  in  the  case  of  those  poor 
children  for  whom  I  plead ;  then  suppose  what  your  feelings  would 
be  if  the  blessings  of  education  were  provided  bountifully  by  the 


State,  and  you  were  unaWe  to  participate  in  those  blessings,  unless 
you  were  willing  to  submit  that  your  conscience  should  be  trenched 

Here  the  Right  Rev.  Prelate  sat  down  after  having  spoken  for 
nearly  three  hours  and  a  half. 



Wednesday  Eveningj,  June  16,  1841. 

Public  notice  having  been  given  in  the  daily  papers  of  the  city,  that  Bishop 
Hughes  would  commence  a  Eeview  and  Refutation  of  the  argument  which 
was  made  by  Hiram  Ketohura,  Esq.,  before  a  Committee  of  the  Legislature, 
at  Albany,  in  opposition  to  the  Bill  and  Report  of  the  Secretary  of  State,  on 
the  subject  of  Common  School  education  in  the  city  of  New  York,  a  very 
large  and  respectable  assemblage  convened  in  Carroll  Hall,  on  that  even- 
ing, to  hear  the  address  of  the  Bishop.  Among  the  gentlemen  present, 
we  noticed  the  Hon.  Luther  Bradish,  Lieutenant-Governor,  and  several  of 
the  Senators  of  the  State,  who  were  then  in  attendance  in  the  city  of  New 
York,  as  members  of  the  Court  for  the  Correction  of  Errors.  At  the  hour 
Specified  in  the  notice,  the  meeting  was  organized,  by  the  appointment  of 
Thomas  O'Connor,  Esq.,  Chairman,  and  Bernard  O'Connor,  Esq.,  Secretary. 
Et.  Rev.  Bishop  Hughes  then  rose  and  spoke  as  follows : 

Mr.  Chairman  and  Gentlemen, — The  subject  of  education  is  one  which  at 
this  time  agitates,  more  or  less,  every  civilized  nation.  If  we  look  across 
the  ocean,  we  find  it  the  subject  of  discussion  in  France,  in  Prussia,  in  Hol- 
land, in  Belgium,  in  Ireland,  and  even  in  Austria.  It  is  not  surprising  then 
that  this  subject  which  has  but  lately  attracted  the  attention  of  governments 
and  nations,  should  become  one  of  deep  and  absorbing  interest.  But  of  all 
these  nations  there  is,  perhaps,  not  one  which  has  placed  education  on  that 
basis,  on  which  it  is  destined  successfully,  in  the  end,  to  repose. 

In  countries  in  which  the  inhabitants  profess  the  same  religion,  whatever 
that  religion  may  be,  the  subject  is  deprived  of  many  of  its  diiBculties.  But 
in  nations  in  which  there  is  a  variety  of  religious  creeds,  it  has  hitherto  been 
found  one  of  the  most  perplexing  of  all  questions,  to  devise  a  system  of  edu- 
cation which  should  meet  the  approbation  of  all.  This  subject  has  engaged 
the. attention  of  our  own  government.  In  every  State  of  the  Union  it  has 
ah-eady  been  acted  upon  more  or  less  fully,  and  in  all  these  instances,  whether 
we  regard  Europe  or  regard  this  country,  we  find  that  therb  is  not  a  solitary 
instance  in  which  religion,  or  religious  instruction  in  a  course  of  education, 
has  been  j)roscribed,  with  the  exception  of  the  city  of  New  York.    And. 


this  proscription  of  religion  in  this  city  is  not  an  act  of  public  authority ; 
there  is  no  statute  authorizing  such  an  aotn-it  has  been  the  result  rather  of 
an  erroneous  construction  put  upon  a  statute,  and  which  has  been  acquiesced 
in,  rather  than  approved,  for  the  last  sixteen  years.  In  the  operation  of  that 
system,  Catholics  felt  themselves  virtually  excluded  from  the  benefats  of 
education.  Very  shortly  after  that  construction  of  the  law  was  adopted, 
they  felt  themselves  obliged  to  proceed  in  the  best  way  that  their  poverty 
wonld  allow  for  the  education  of  their  children;  and  whilst  they  have  been 
taxed  with  the  other  citizens,  up.  to  the  present  hour  they  have  derived  no 
benefit  ti-om  the  system  supported  by  that  taxation,  but  on  the  contrary, 
after  having  contributed  what  the  law  required,  have  been  obliged  to  throw 
themselves  back  on  their  own  resources,  and  provide,  as  well  as  they  might, 
for  the  means  of  educating  their  children. 

"We  have,  from  time  to  time,  complained  of  this  state  of  things.  It  has 
frequently  been  brought  before  the  notice  of  the  public.  A  society— pro- 
fessedly the  friend  of  education— having  exercised  supreme  control  oyer  the 
whole  question,  we  had  no  resource  but  to  apply  to  that  tribunal,  which  the 
law  had  authorized  to  use  its  discretion  in  distributing  the  money  set  apart 
for  the  purposes  of  education.  We  always  insisted,  in  good  faith,  that  the 
object. — the  benevolent  object  of  this  government  was,  the  education  of  the 
rising  generation,  and  we  never  conceived  that  the  question  of  religion,  or 
no  religion,  had  entered  into  the  minds  of  those  philanthropic  public  men 
who  first  established  this  system  for  the  diffusion  of  knowledge.  We  applied, 
as  I  have  remarked,  at  different  times,  to  the  tribunal  to  which  allusion  has 
been  already  made,  and  did  so  even  till  a  very  recent  period,  because,  before 
we  could  apply  to  the  Legislature  of  the  State,  it  was  requisite  to  comply 
with  the  forms  prescribed,  and  that  we  should  be  first  rejected  by  the  Com- 
mon Council  of  this  city,  to  whom  the  State  Legislature  had  delegated  the 
discretionary  power  to  be  exercised  in  the  premises.  That  course  was  re- 
garded necessary,  and  we  adopted  it.  The  result  was  as  we  anticipated — 
denial  of  our  request — and  then  it  was  that  we  applied  to  the  Legislature  of 
the  State — submitted  to  them  the  grievances  under  which  we  labored,  in  the 
full  confidence  that  there  we  should  find  a  remedy. 

Both  before  the  Common  Council  and  the  Senate  of  this  State  the  means 
which  have  been  taken  to  defeat  the  proper  consideration  of  our  claims 
have  been  such  as  we  could  not  have  anticipated  in  a  country  where  the 
rights  of  conscience  are  recognized  as  supreme.  The  test  has  been  put,  not 
as  to  whether  we  were  proper  subjects  for  education,  but  whether  we  were 
Catholics !  And  in  the  course  of  the  examination  on  which  I  am  about  to 
enter,  I  shall  have  occasion  to  show  that,  from  the  beginning  to  the  end, 
the  one  object  of  the  members  of  the  Public  School  Society  has  been  to  con- 
vince the  public  that  we  were  Catholics,  and  they,  it  would  appear,  calcu- 
late, as  the  consequence,  that  if  we  were  Catholics,  then  we  had  no  right  to 
obtain  redress,  or  hope  for  justice. 

In  the  course  of  my  remarks,  I  shall  be  obliged  to  refer  to  distinctions  in 
religion,  the  introduction  of  which  into  the  discussion  of  this  question  is 
ever  to  be  much  regretted ;  I  shall  have  to  speak  of  Catholics  and  of  Prot- 
estants, and  when  I  do  so,  let  it  be  understood  that  I  do  not  volunteer  in 
that ;  but  the  course  pursued  by  that  Public  School  Society  has  imposed 
upon  me  the  necessity  to  refer  to  these  religious  distinctions,  and  in  doing 
so,  I  trust  I  shall  be  found  to  speak  of  those  who  differ  from  me  in  matters 
of  religion  with  becoming  respect.  I  am  not  a  man  of  narrow  feelings — I 
am  attached  sincerely  and  conscientiously  to  the  faith  which  I  profess,  but 
I  judge  no  man  for  professing  another.  In  the  whole  of  my  intercourse 
with  Protestants,  my  conduct  has  been  such  that  they  will  be  ready  to 
acknowledge,  in  Philadelphia  and  elsewhere,  that  I  am  the  last  man  to  be 


nccuserl  of  bigotry.  But  I  feel  that  I  should  be  unwoi-thy  of  that  estima- 
tion—that the  denomination  to  which  I  belong  would  be  unworthy  of  sus- 
taining that  position  which  they  are  ambitious  to  occupy  in  the  opinion  of 
their  fellow-citizens  of  other  creeds,  if  they  were  to  submit  to  tha  insult 
added. to  the  injury  inflicted  on  them  by  these  men.  I,  for  my  own  part, 
feel  indignant  at  the  recent  attempt  made  to  cast  odium  upon  us  and  our 
cause,  and  it  is  because  that  turns  entirely  on  the  question  of  religion,  that 
I  shall  be  obliged  to  speak  of  Catholics  and  of  Protestants,  and  to  refer  to 
those  distinctions  which  should  never  have  been  introduced. 

Before  taking  up  the  Report  cf  the  Secretary  of  State,  I  shall  refer  briefly 
to  the  conclusion  of  the  discussion  before  the  Common  Council.  There  we 
had,  as  you  will  recollect,  legal  gentlemen,  and  reverend  gentlemen,  advo- 
cates of  the  Public  School  Society,  who  had  studied  the  question  in  all  its 
bearings — volunteers  and  associates,  and  colleagues,  on  the  same  side,  and 
throughout  that  debate  the  ground  taken  by  them  was,  that  if  our  petition 
wei'o_  granted,  favors  would  be  conferred  on  us  as  a  .religious  denomination, 
tending  to  that,  against  which  all  the  friends  of  liberty  should  guard — a 
union  of  Church  and  State.  So  long  as  that  idea  was  honestly  entertained 
by  these  gentlemen,  I  could  respect  their  zeal  in  opposing  us.  But  that 
idea  has  disappeared,  and  yet  their  opposition  has  become  more  inveterate 
than  ever. 

The  very  last  sentence  of  the  speech  of  Mr.  Ketchum  before  the  Common 
Council  Of  the  city  of  New  York,  was  a  declaration  that  this  Society,  so  far 
from  desiring  a  collision  of  this  kind  with  us,  were  men  of  peace,  to  whom 
even  the  moral  friction  of  the  debate  was  quite  a  punishment ;  that  for 
them  it  would  be  a  relief,  if  our  system  of  education  were  assimilated  in  its 
external  aspect  to  that  of  the  State.     I  will  read  his  own  words : 

"  Now,  perhaps  the  gentleman  may  ask,  if  the  system  is  to  be  clianged,  that  we 
should  resort  to  the  same  course  as  is  pursued  iu  the  country,  where  the  people  elect 
their  own  Commissioners  and  Trustees.  But  if  we  do,  the  schools  must  be  governed 
on  the  same  principles  as  these,  and  the -only  difference  will  he  in  the  managers.  And 
if  it  is  to  come  to  that,  I  am  sure  these  Trustees  will  he  very  willing,  for  it  is  to  them  a 
source  of  great  vexation  to  he  compelled  to  carry  on  this  controversy  for  such  a 
period.  ■  ' 

^  "  They  are  very  unwilling  to  come  here  to  meet  their  fellow-citizens  in  a  somewhat 
hostile  manner.  They  have  nothing  to  gain,  for  the  Society  is  no  benefit  to  them,  and 
they  give  days  and  weeks  of  their  time,  without  recompense,  to  the  discharge  of  the 
duties  of  their  trust." 

I  shall  not  now  praise  that  Society.  I  have  more  than  once  given  my 
full  assent  to  eulogiums  on  their  zeal  and  assiduity ;  but  Mr.  Ketchum 
praises  them  and  they  praise  themselves,  and  at  this  period  of  the  contro- 
versy, they  are  entitled  to  no  praise  from  the  thousands  and  thousands  of 
the  poor  neglected  cliildren  of  New  York,  whom  their  narrow  and  bigoted 
views  have  excluded  from  the  benefits  and  blessings  6f  education. 

I  shall  now,  before  proceeding  farther,  take  up  the  Report  of  the  Secre- 
tary of  State,  and  commence  with  that  portion  of  it  in  which  he  gives  a 
brief  sketch  of  the  origin  of  this  Society: 

"The  Public  School  Society  was  originally  incorporated  in  180.3,  by  chapter  108  of 
the  laws  of  that  session,  which  is  entitled  'An  act  to  incorporate  the  Society  instituted 
in  the  city  of  New  York,  for  the  establishment  of  a  free  school  for  the  education  of  poor 
children  who  do  not  belong  to  or  are  not  provided  for  by  any  religious  Society.'  In 
1808  its  name  was  changed  to  'The  Free  School  Society  of  New  York;'  and  its  powers 
were  extended  '  to  all  children  whj  are  the  proper  subjects  of  a  gratuitous  education.' 
By  chapter  25  of  the  Laws  of  1826,  its  name  was  changed  to  '  The  Public  School  Society 
of  New  York;' and  the  Tru.stees  were  authorized  to  provide  for  the  educatiou  of  ail 
children  in  New  York  not  otherwise  provided  for,  '  whetlier  such  children  be  or  be  not 
the  proper  subjects  of  gratnitou.?  education  ;'  and  to  require  from  those  attending  the 
schools  a  moderate  compensation;  but  no  child  to  be  refused  admission  on  account  of 
inability  to  pay.  " 


"Thus,  by  the  joint  operation  of  the  acts  amending  the  o!  arter  of  the  Societ.^  of  thi! 
statutes  in  relation  to  the  school  moneys,  and  of  the  ordinal  ce  of  the  Common  Council, 
designating  the  schools  of  the  Society  as  the  principal  recipients  of  those  moneys^  the 
control  of  the  public  education  of  the  city  of  New  York,  and  the  disburs:ment  of  nine- 
tenths  of  the  public  moneys  raised  and  apportioned  for  schools,  were  vested  in  this 
corporation.  It  is  a  perpetual  corporation,  and  there  is  no  power  reserved  by  the  Legis- 
lature to  repeal  or  modify  its  charter.  It  consists  of  members  who  have  contributed  to 
the  funds  of  the  Society  ;  and,  according  to  the  proyisions  of  the  last  act,  the  payment 
of  ten  dollars  constitutes  the  contributor  a  member  for  life.  The  members  annually 
choose  fifty  Trustees,  who  may  add  to  their  number  fifty  more." 

He  goes  on  to  describe  its  differeat  acts  by  which  its  name  and  other 
attributes  were  changed,  until  from  being  a  Society  to  take  charge  of  the 
children  tha£  were  not  provided  for  by  any  religious  Society,  they  came  to 
have  the  control  of  the  whole  system  of  education  in  New  York.  The  Re- 
port informs  us  that  the  members  of  the  Public  School  Society  are  so  by 
virtue  of  a  subscription  of  ten  dollars;  that  they  elect  fifty  Trustees;  that 
these  fifty  Trustees  have  a  right  to  appoint  fifty  others,  and  then  the  nuni- 
ber  is  completed;  that  the  City  Council  are  members  exofficio,  and  this 
will,. perhaps,  go  a  great  way  in  explaining  the  unwillingness  of  the  Com- 
mon Council  to  grant  out  petition. 

The  Society  was  so  constituted,  that  when  we  went  before  the  Common 
Council,  we  virtually  went  before  a  committee  of  the  Society. 

In  this  state  of  things  the  Governor  of  this  State,  with  a  patriotism  and 
benevolence  that  entitle  his  name  to  the  respect  of  every  man  that  has 
regard  for  humane  feeling  and  sound  and  liberal  policy,  declared  for  a 
system  that  would  afford  a  good  common  education  for  every  child.  And 
though  I  have  never  before  spoken  in  public  the  name  of  that  distinguished 
oflicer  of  the  State,  I  do  now  from  my  heart  award  to  him  my  warmest 
thanks,  and  those  of  the  community  to  which  I  belong,  for  the  stand  he 
has  taken  on  this  subject.  An  attempt  has  been  made  to  victimize  him 
because  he  favored  Catholics — he  dared  to  manifest  a  humane  and  liberal 
feeling  towards  foreigners.  He  survived  that  shock,  however,  and  a  recent 
excellent  document  from  him,  showing  that  he  is  not  any  longer  a  candidate 
for  public  favor,  authorizes  me  to  say  in  this  place,  that  every  man  who 
loves  his  country  and  the  interests  of  his  race,  no  matter  what  may  be  his 
politics,  will  cordially  render  the  tribute  of  esteem  and  praise  due  to 
Governor  Seward. 

[The  chairman  had,  on  taking  his  place,  requested  the  meeting  to 
refrain  from  interrupting  the  Right  Rev.  Speaker,  or  giving  any  demon- 
strations of  applause,  but  here  they  could  not  restrain  their  feelings,  and 
testified  their  concurrence  in  the  sentiments  of  the  Bishop  in  reference  to 
Governor  Seward,  by  a  loud  and  enthusiastic  burst  of  applause.] 

Governor  Seward  knew  too  well,  Bishop  Hughes  continued,  the  deep 
seated  prejudices  of  a  large  portion  of  the  commimity,  not  to  feel  that  he 
had  nothing  to  gain  by  being  the  advocate  of  justice  to  Catholics.  But 
whatever  may  be  that  distinguished  statesman's  future  history,  whatever 
his  situation,  however  much  thwarted  and  opposed,  and,  perchance,  for  a 
moment  partially  defeated  by  those  who  call  themselves  the  friends  of 
education,  it  will  be  glory  enough  for  him  to  have  inscribed  upon  his 
monument,  that  whilst  Governor  of  the  State  of  New  York,  he  wished  to 
have  every  child  of  that  noble  State,, endowed  and  adorned  in  mind  and 
intellect,  and  morals,  with  the  blessings  of  education.  (Renewed  cheers.) 

"When  therefore  we  presented,  as  every  oppressed  portion  of  the  com- 
munity has  a  right  to  do,  our  grievances  to  the  Honorable  Legislature  of 
the  State,  these  gentlemen,  who  are  represented  by  Mr.  Ketchum,  through  a 
speech  of  nine  mortal  columns— as  the  humble  almoners  of  the  public 
charity— these  men  who  are  burthened  with  their  load  of  official  duty 


wMcli  they  arc  -willing,  Mr.  Ketclium  says,  to  put  off,  pursue  us  tliitlicr 
•■with  unabated  hostility.  We  supposed  that  the  Public  School  Society 
would  acquiesce  in  the  justice  of  the  plan  of  the  Secretary.  No,  these 
humble  men,  all  zeal  for  thecauseof  education,  enter  the  halls  of  legislation 
with  a  determined  spirit  of  opj)osition  to  us,  which  is  perliaps  unparalleled, 
considering  the  circumstances  under  which  they  acted. 

One  of  the  most  difficult  points  in  treating  with  these  gentlemen  is,  to 
ascertain  in  what  particular  situation,  and  under  what  particular  circum- 
stances, their  responsibility  may  be  discovered.  They  are,  it  is  said,  but 
agents,  they  are  wealthy  and  powerful,  have  every  advantage  in  oijposin_g 
humble  petitioners  as  we  are,  and  with  all  these  advantages  they  presented 
themselves  there,  not  to  dispute  the  justice  of  our  claims,  nor  the  correct- 
ness of  the  ground  on  which  the  Honorable  Secretary  placed  the  question 
before  the  Senate,  but  to  appeal  even  in  the  minds  of  Senators,  to  whatever 
they  might  iind  tliere  of  prejudice  against  the  Catholic  religion,  and  the 
foreigner  and  the  descendants  of  the  foreigner. 

One  of  the  documents  of  which  they  made  .use,  was  published  in  the 
"Journal  of  Commerce."  This  question  had  been,  in  the  Senate,  made  the 
special  order  of  the  day,  for,  I  think,  Friday,  the  20th  of  May.  In  the 
"Journal  of  Commerce"  of  the  previous  day,  there  was  published  a  most 
calumnious  article,  full  of  all  those  traditions  against  our  religion,  which 
the  minds  of  some  of  these  denominations  inherit ;  and  the  Agent  of  the 
Public  School  Society,  sent,  as  we  should  understand,  to  represent  justice 
and  truth  between  citizens  of  the  same  country,  is  found  distributing  this 
paper  all  over  the  desks  of  the  senators !  On  that  very  day  it  was  supposed 
that  the  vote  on  this  very  question  would  be  taken,  and  the  agent  of  the 
Public  School  Society  is  found  supplying  the  senators — for  I  have  a  copy 
of  the  papers  thus  furnished,  with  the  member's  name  written  at  the  top, 
and  the  article  referred  to,  marked  with  black  lines,  so  that  there  could  be 
no  over  looking  it — with  an  article  containing  a  mock  excommunication,  a 
burlesque  invented  by  Sterne,  and  inserted  in  his  Tristram  Shandy,  but 
quoted  by  the  Public  School  Society,  (for  I  hold  it  to  be  their  act  till  they 
disclaim  it,)  as  a  part  of  our  creed,  and  made  the  ground  of  a  sneer  at  the 
Secretary :  "  These  are  precious  principles  to  be  preserved  in  the  con- 
sciences of  your  petitioners  !"  Religious  prejudice  will  have  its  reign  in 
the  world.  But  it  is  a  low  feeling,  especially  is  it  a  low  feeling  in  a  country, 
in  the  fundamental  principles  of  whose  government  and  laws  the  great 
fathers  of  our  liberties  insisted  that  conscience  and  religion  should  be  ever, 
free,  and  be  regarded  as  above  all  law.  There  was  to  be  no  toleration,  for 
that  implied  the  power  not  to  tolerate;  the  word  was  therefore  excluded 
from  the  language  of  American  jurisprudence.  And  that  being  the  case, 
it  was  painful  to  find  an  honorable  body  of  men,  as  the  members  of  the 
Public  School  Society  are  regarded  to  be,  employing  such  a  means  of 
approaching  the  Senate  of  New  York — that  Senate,  to  which  Justice,  if  she 
found  not  a  resting  place  upon  the  globe,  like  the  dove  to  the  ark,  might 
return,  and  expect  every  hand  to  be  stretched  out  to  receive  her.  (Loud 

If  they  deny  that  they  approached  that  Senate  with  that  document — 
too  vile  and  filthy  to  be  read  in  this  audience  ;  but  if  any  gentleman  has 
the  curiosity  to  see  it,  here  (holding  up  a  volume  <)f  Tristram  Shandy)  he 
may  read  it  word  for  word — let  them  call  their  agent  to  account.  We  will 
not  let  them  rob  us  of  our  reputation.  We  stand  ambitious  to  be  con- 
sidered worthy  of  membership  in  the  great  American  family — let  them  not, 
after  depriving  us  of  the  benefit  of  our  taxes,  destroy  our  reputation. 

I  will  now,  after  this  introduction,  take  up  the  "Remonstrance"  of  tie 
Society.     It  is  impossible  for  me  not  to  feel  indignant,  when  I  think  how 


these  liigh-miiided  men  have  treated  us,  when  I  recollect  that  this  same 
peiitlemiin,  who  acted  as  their  afjent  and  distributed  that  calumnious  paper, 
M-;is  onco  a  candidate  for  office,  and  gladly  received  the  signatures  of 
Catholics.     And  this  was  the  recompense  he  offered. 

I  know  not  by  whom  this  "  Kemonstrance"  was  drawn  up,  I  know  not 
whether  all  the  members  of  the  Board  of  Trustees  approved  of  it,  but  if 
they  did,  I  trust  there  were  no  Catholics  ]3resent. 

In  page  3  of  this  "  Remonstrance,"  which  is  signed  by  the  President, 
"  Robert  C.  Cornell,"  wc  find  the  following  declaration  introductory  to  the 
subject : 

"The  Legislature  therefore  in  1813,  when  the  first  distribution  was  made,  very 
naturally  appropriated  the  amount  apportioned  to  this  city  to  these  schools  in  the 
ratio  of  the  number  of  children  taught  in  each.  This  mode  of  distribution  continued 
until  1824,  when  the  subject  was  again  brought  before  the  legislature  by  the. jealousies, 
disputes,  and  difficulties  which  had  arisen  among  the  recipients,  and  the  conflicting 
parties  presented  themselves  at  Albany  for  the  purpose  of  sustaining  their  respective 

Now  in  all  the  foregoing  applications,  in  all  the  reports  made  by  com- 
mittees of  the  Common  Council,  you  will  find  there  has  not  been  one  in 
which  the  subject  of  religion  was  not  referred  to  as  the  ground  of  the 
refusal  of  our  claims ;  in  which  it  was  not  assumed  that  the  laws  were 
opposed  to  giving  education  money,  the  Public  School  Pund  or  any  portion 
of  it,  to  any  religious  denomination.  This  principle,  it  has  been  pretended, 
and  the  disputes  among  the  sects,  led  to  the  alteration  of  the  law  in  1824. 
But  if  we  refer  back  to  the  memorial  proceeding  from  this  Society  itself,  we 
will  find  that  no  such  thing  existed  ■wit  the  time.  We  find,  that  Mr. 
Leonard  Bleecker  sent  a  memorial  at  that  very  period,  1824,  in  which  he 

"  It  will  not  be  denied,  in  this  enlightened  age,  that  the  education  of  the  poor  is 
enjoined  by  our  holy  religion,  and  is  therefore,  one  of  the  duties  of  a  Christian  church. 
Nor  is  there  any  impropriety  in  committing  the  school  fund  to  the  bands  of  a  religious 
society,  so  long  as  they  are  confined  in  the  appropriation  of  it,  to  an  object  not  neces- 
sarily connected,  or  intermingled  with  the  other  concerns  of  the  church,  as  for  instatice 
to  the  payment  of  teachers,  because  the  state  is  sure  in  this  case,  that  the  benefits  of 
the  fund,  in  the  way  it  designed  to  confer  them,  will  be  reaped  by  the  poor.  But  the 
objection  to  the  section  sought  to  be  repealed  is,  that  the  surplus  moneys,  after  the 
payment  of  teachers,  is  vested  in  the  hands  of  the  Trustees  of  a  religious  society,  and 
mingled  with  its  other  funds,  to  be  appropriated  to  the  erection  of  buildings  under  the 
control  of  the  trustees,  which  buildings  may,  and  in  all  probability  will,  be  used  for 
other  purposes  than  school  houses." 

*  Here  was^  the  ground  taken,  and  yet  we  hear  these  gentlemen  before  the 
Common  Council  say  it  was  on  account  of  constitutional  difficulties,  and 
religious  differences ;  whereas  it  was  simply  because  the  money  had  been 
used  for  an  improper  purpose. 

In  page  5  of  this  "  Remonstrance,"' this  Society  takes  the  ground,  in 
opposition  to  the  view  of  its  being  a  monopoly,  and  a  close  corporation, 
which  it  in  fact  is — that  the  same  objection  might  be  used  against  hos-, 
pitals,  asylums  for  the  blind,  the  insane  and  the  mute,  dispensaries,  and 
houses  of  refuge,  and  they  institute  a  comparison  between  these  institutions 
and  the  Public  Schools. 

Now,  as  to  the  fact,  that  the  Public  School  Society  is  a  close  corporation, 
they  themselves  do  nol^deny  that  all  citizens  are  excluded  except  those 
who  can  afford  to  pay  $10  for  membership.  They  do  not  deny  that,  but 
justify  it  on  the  ground  that  inasmuch  as  there  are  corporations  for  the 
management  of  s-uch  institutions  as  I  have  named,  the  same  reason  exists 
for  the  cpnstitution  of  a  corporation  for  the  direction  of  the  Public  Schools. 
And  where  then,  pray,  are  the  rights  with  which  nature  and  nature's 
God  have  invested  th(  parents  of  these  children  ?    Pray,  are  they,  who  are 


held  competent  to  decide  on  the  gravest  questions  affecting  :he  interests 
of  the  nation,  unworthy  to  have  a  voice  in  the  education  of  their  OM-n 
children?  And  must  they  resign  that  to  a  corporation  responsible  neither 
to  them  nor  to  the  public  in  any  formal  way  ?  And  pray,  are  the  people 
of  New  York  lunatics,  that  they  must  have  a  corporation  of  keepers 
appointed  over  them  ?  If  the  doctrine  of  this  "memorial"  be  correct,  they 
are  to  be  so  considered.  But  there  is  this  difference,  they  pay  taxes  for 
education,  and  they  have  a  right  to  a  voice  and  a  vote  in  the  manner  in 
which  their  money  is  to  be  expended.  If  the  people  are  to  be  treated  as 
lunatics,  itiutes,  or  inmates  of  the  house  of  refuge,  then  the  argument  of  the 
Public  School  Society  is  a  good  one.  I  think  the  comparison  instituted  in 
the  "Remonstrance"  utterly  fails.  I  cannot  dwell  longer  upon  it. 
I  now  come  to  a  charge  made  against  the  petitioners : 

"  At  one  time  it  was  declared  '  the  Public  School  pystem  of  the  city  of  New  York  is 
entirely  favorable  to  the  sectarianismcf  Infidelity,  and  opposed  only  to  that  of  positive 
Christianity,'  that  *  it  leaves  the  will  of  the  pupil  to  riot  in  the  fierceness  of  unrestrained 
lusts,'  and  is  '  calculated  to  make  bad  and  dangerous  citizens.'  " 

Now  it  is  true,  that  we  did  view  the  Society  as  being  opposed  to  religion. 
There  can  be  no  doubt  of  that.  But  if  that  be  true,  it  is  equally  true  that 
the  evidence  on  which  we  built  that  conclusion  was  furnished  by  them- 
selves. And  how  ?  In  every  report  of  their's,  it  appears  that  if  any  thing 
like  a  religious  society  presented  itself,  that  character  was  enough  to  decide 
them  in  resisting  its  application.  You  will  find  this  evidenced  in  their 
•vindication  and  defence,  both  by  Mr.  Sedgwick  and  Mr.  Ketchum.  They 
■  contended  that  what  tliey  meant  by  religious  instruction,  was  not  religious 
instruction — and  so  it  may  be  proper  for  me  to  enter  a  little  into  the  exa- 
mination of  the  meaning  of  these  words. 

'When  the  Trustees  make  the  religious  character  of  a  society  the  ground 
of  denying  them  a  portion  of  their  funds,  what  is  it  that  constitutes  the 
objection?  They  do  not  decide  against  the  infidel ;  for  it  seems  if  the  ap- 
plicants had  divested  themselves  of  a  religious  character — if  men  of  no 
religious  proiession — of  no  belief  in  a  God  or  a  future  state,  had  presented 
themselves,  no  objection  would  be  made,  and  on  their  own  premises  the 
Trustees  would  be  obliged  to  concede  to  their  request.  What  then 
was  the  reason  of  the  refusal,  except  the  religious  character  of  the  appli- 
caiits  ?  And  had  we  not  fair  ground  here  for  inferring  that  they  are  op- 
posed to  religion  ?  Examine  their  reports.  Here  is  one :  A  Report  of 
the  Committee  on  Arts,  Sciences,  and  Schools  of  the  Board  of  Assistant^ 
on  appropriating  a  portion  of  the  school  money  .to  religious  societies  for 
the  support  of  schools.  This  is  document  No.  80,  and  at  page  380  we  read 
as  follows : 

"  The  amount  of  one  hundred  and  seven  thousand  dollars  and  upwards,  as  hereto- 
fore stated,  has  been  raised  by  annual  tax  in  the  city  for  purposes  of  a  purely  civil  and 
secular  character." 

Well,  if  the  education  is  to  be  purely  "  civil  and  secular,"  is  religion 
mingled  with  it  at  all?  Andifreligionisnottobemingled  withit  at  all,  then 
had  we  not  a  right  to  infer  from  their  own  document  that  they  were  oiJ- 
posed  to  religion,  and  brought  up  the  children  without  any  knowledge  of 
their  responsibility  to  God,  or  of  .a  future  life,  or  of  any  of  those  great 
principles  of  religion  on  which  the  very  aeeurity  of  society  depends  ?  Were 
we  not  justified  in  the  inference?  They  refused  our  application  because 
we  professed  religion  ;  and  had  we  not  a  right  to  keep  our  children  from 
the  influence  of  a  system  of  education  that  attempted  to  make  a  divorce 
between  literature — that  is,  such  literature  as  is  suited  for  the  infant  mind 
— and  religion;  and  to  give  instruction  of  a  "purely  civil  and  secular 


character,"  for  which  we  are  told  $10V,000  had  been  expended  ?_  How,  I 
astj  can  Mr.  Cornell  stand  up  and  deny  our  charge,  when  such  indisputable 
evidence  of  its  truth  is  presented  by  their  own  documents  ? 

Did  Mr.  Cornell,  when  they  defeated  us,  find  fault  with  the  committee  of 
the  Assistants'  Board,  because  they  charged  the  Society  with  excluding 
religion  from  education?  No!  No!  Enough  it  was  that  religious  socie- 
ties should  be  defeated,  and  that  they  should  continue  to  wield  their  corn- 
l)lex  monopoly.  No  matter  that  they  were  charged  with  having  no  reli- 
gion. No  matter  at  all  that  their  education  was  then  described  as  "  purely 
civil  and  secular!"  This  document  goes  on— "The  appropriation  of  any 
part  of  that  sum  to  the  support  of  schools  in  which  the  religious  tenets  of 
any  sect  are  tavght  to  any  extent.'''' 

Well,  if  you  excluded  the  tenets  of  all  sects,  you  excluded  all  religion, 
because  there  is  no  religion  except  what  is  included  in  the  tenets  of  sects. 
I  defy  you  to  teach  the  first  principles  of  religion  without  teaching  the 
tenets  of  sectarianism !  Then  it  was  on  the  faith  of  their  own  documents 
that  we  charged  on  them  the  character  which  they  had  assumed,  on  the 
strength  of  which  they  had  successfully  opposed,  one  after  another,  all  the 
denominations  who  reverence  religion.     The  document  proceeds : 

— "  would  be  a  legal  establishment  of  one  denomination  of  religion  over  another, 
tcowZt^  conflict  with  all  the  principles  and  purposes  of  our  free  institutions,  and  would 
violate  the  very  letter  of  that  part  of  our  constitution  which  so  emphatically  declares, 
that  '  Tlie  free  exercise  and  enjoyment  of  religious  profession  and  worship,  without 
dlscHminatlon  or  preference,  shall  for  ever  be  allowed  in  this  State  to  all  mankind.'  By 
granting  a  portion  of  the  School"Fund  to  one  sect  to  the  exclusion  of  others,  a  '  prefer- 
ence' is  at  onc.e  created,  a  '  discrimination  '  made,  and  the  object  of  the  great  constitu- 
tional guarantee  is  defeated;  taxes  are  imposed  for  thesupport  of  religion,  and  freedom 
of  conscience  if  not  directly  trammelled  and  confined,  isnotleft  in  the  perfect  and  un- 
shackled ^tate  which  onr. systems  of  government  were  intended  to  establish  and  perpe- 
tuate. No  difference  can  be  perceived  in  principle  between  the  taxing  of  the  people  of 
England  for  the  support  of  a  church  establishment  there,  and  the  taxing  of  the  people 
of  New  York  for  the  support  of  schools  in  which  the  doctrines  of  religious  denomina- 
tions are  taught," 

And  what  are  we  to  infer  from  this,  except  that  they  do  not  teach  reli- 
gion at  all  ?  But  they  have  changed  their  tactics.  For  they  have,  be  it 
rememliered,  two  strings  to  their  bow — one  for  those  who  have  religion, 
and  one  for  those  who  have  not,  and  so  we  actually  find  that  whilst  before 
the  Common  Council  of  New  York  they  are  destitute  of  religion,  and  give 
a  purely "  civil  and  secular  education,"  at  Albany  they  can  be  in  favor  of 
religion  ! 

But  there  is  still  further  evidence  on  this  point.  In  page  18  of  the  Be- 
port  of  the  debate  before  the  Common  Council,  we  have  the  explanation  of 
Mr,  Ketclium,  and  it  was  one  of  the  nicest  managed  points  imaginable. 
Indeed,  I  could  not  but  admire  the  sagacity  of  that  gentleman  and  his  as- 
sociate, Mr.  Sedgwick,  in  steering  so  adroitly  between  the  teaching  of  reli- 
gion and  the  not  teaching  of  it,  so  that  they  taught  it,  but  yet  must  not 
call  it  religion  !  We  put  the  gentlemen  between  the  horns  of  a  dilemma^-- 
we  said  if  you  do  not  teach  religion,  then  you  are  chargeable  with  making 
our  common  schools  seminaries  of  infidelity — if  you  do  teach  it,  then  you 
do  exactly  what  excludes  religious  societies  from  a  right  to  participate  in 
the  fund  !  But  these  gentlemen,  with  great  skill  and  critical  acumen,  and 
a  little  sophistry,  were  able  to  steer  by  a  line,  invisible  to  my  mind,  be- 
tween the  lionisof  the  dilemma. 

In  describing  the  different  kinds  of  instruction,  Mr.  Sedgwick  says : 

"But,  beyond  that,  there  i.s  still  another  branch  of  instruction  which  is  properly 
c&WeA  rd'ujioiis,  and  it  is  because  two  phrases— 'religious  '  and  'moral  '—have been 
used  o;c:ibionally  without  as  accurate  apprehension  of  their  signifioatisn,  that  the  doca- 


mentg  of  the  trtstees  have  been  misconstrued.  But  when  the  term  'moral '  education 
is  used,  it  only  means  that  education  which  instructs  th6  children  in  those  fnndampiital 
tenets  of  duty  which  are  the  basis  of  all  religion." 

That  is  to  say  you  build  the  roof  before  you  lay  the  foundation.  For 
whence,  I  ask,  will  men  get  their  knowledge  of  duty,  if  not  based  on  a 
substratum  of  religion  ?  But  here  morality  so  called  is  made  the  basis  of 
religion.  Well,  let  us  apply  this  to  the  schools,  and  see  whether  any 
Christian  parent  would  submit  to  have  his  children  placed  under  such  a 

There  is  a  child  at  one  of  these  schools — they  tell  him  not  to  lie,  but 
children  are  inquisitive,  and  he  asks,  "Why  should  I  not  lie  1"  You  must 
answer,  because  God  abominates  a  lie — there  you  teach  religion  !  You  ex- 
plain the  reason  why  the  child  should  not  lie,  that  religion  requires,  and 
affords  the  reason  of  the  performance  of  the  duty — not  that  the  duty  is  the 
basis  of  religion.  It  is  not  enough  to  tell  the  child  you  are  to  speak  the 
truth,  and  when  you  knovr  and  fulfil  your  duty  then  you  may  learn  that 
there  is  a  God  to  whom  you  are  responsible.  Washington  himself  in  his 
Farewell  Address,  cautioned  the  nation  against  the  man  who  would  at- 
tempt to  teach  morality  without  religion.     (Cheers.)     He  says  :• 

"  Of  all  the  dispositions  and  habits  which  lead  to  political  prosperity,  religion  and 
morality  are  indispensable  supports.  In  vain  woulcf  that  man  claim  the  tribute  of 
patriotism,  who  should  labor  to  subvert  these  great  pillars  of  human  happiness,  these 
firmest  props  of  the  duties  of  men  and  citizens.  The  mere  politician,  equally  with  the 
piou.s  man,  ought  to  respect  and  to  cherish  them.  A  volume  could  not  trace  all  their 
connections  with  private  andpublic  felicity.  Let  it  be  simply  asked,  where  is  the  secu- 
rity for  property,  for  reputation,  for  life,  if  the  sense  of  religious  obligations  desert  the 
oaths,  which  are  the  instruments  of  investigation  in  courts  of  justice?  And  let  us 
wUh  cautwn  indulge  the  suppontioTif  that  morality  can  be  maintained  without  religion. 
Whatever  may  be  conceded  to  the  influence  of  refined  education  on  minds  of  peculiar 
structure,  reason  and  experience  both  forbid  us  to  expect  that  national  morality  can 
prevail  in  exclusion  of  religious  principle." 

Had  we  not  thenj  I  would  ask  very  respectfully,  a  right,  when  every  pe- 
tition had  been  rejected  on  the  ground  that  the  petitioners  had  a  religious 
belief  to  infer  that  religion  formed  no  part  of  their  system  of  education, 
and  that  the  consequence  which  we  charged  upon  them,  and  that  Mr. 
Cornell  repudiated  with  so  much  horror,  inevitably  and  justly  followed — 
namely,  that  the  Public  School  Society  was  favorable  to  the  sectarianism 
of  infidelity  ? 

I  now  go  on  to  show  what  the  Public  School  Society  boast  of  having  done 
in  our  regard.  They  had  ofiered  in  reply  to  our  objections  to  passages  in  their 
books,  as,  for  instance,  where  it  was  stated  that  "  John  Huss  was  a  zealous  Re- 
former, but  trusting  to  the  deceitful  Catholics,  he  was  taken  by  them  and 
burned  at  the  stake  " — to  expunge  such  objectionable  passages  when  they  were 
pointed  out.  They  said,  "  Bishop,  we  submit  our  books  to  you,  and  if  you 
will  have  the  goodness  to  point  out  any  objectionable  passages  we  will  expunge 
them."  Well,  certainly  there  was  something  very  plausible  and  apparently 
very  liberal  in  this  offer.  But  when  the  matter  was  pressed,  it  was  fohnd  that 
all  this  was  merely  the  expression  of  individuals — there  was  no  guarantee  that 
the  books  would  be  amended.  Weeks  and  months  might  be  spent  in  examin- 
ing the  books,  and  then  the  approbation  of  the  Board  was  necessary  in  order 
to  effect  the  altej-ation.     Did  they  say  that  it  should  be  given  ?    Never. 

I  pass  now  to  another  point,  for  observe,  I  do  not  at  all  think  myself  caHed 
on  to  say  one  word  in  vindication  of  the  able  and  eloquent  and  satisfactory  re- 
port of  the  Secretary  of  State.  (Cheers.)  That  is  not  necessary.  The  language 
of  that  document  will  be  its  own  vindication,  when  the  petty  sophistries  raised 
against  it  shall  have  been  long  forgotten  ;  for,  be  assured,  gentlemen,  that  what- 
ever may  l)e  the  temporary  opposition  to  any  public  measure,  from  the  moment 
that  I  here  is  discovered  to  be  inherent  in  it— of  its  essence — a  principle  of  jus- 


tice  and  equality,  its  ultimate  triumph  is  certain,  and  all  the  opposition  which 
it  encounters  will  have  no  more  effect  on  it,  than  that  of  the  breeze  which 
passes  over  the  ocean,  rufSing  its  surface,  but  destroying  nothing  of  the 
mighty  and  majestic  element  which  it  seems  to  fret  and  disturb.     (Cheers.) 

I  take  up  this,  then,  not  to  vindicate  the  report,  but  rather  in  reference  to 
the  insulting  attempt,  as  I  will  call  it,  to  deprive  Catholics  of  the  free  exercise 
of  their  own  consciences,  and  the  respect  and  esteem  of  their  fellow-citizens. 
In  reasoning  on  the  subject,  observe  the  course  that  is  taken  by  Mr.  Cornell — 
he  enters  into  a  comparison  between  the  schools  of  the  Public  School  Society, 
and  ours — ours  supported  in  poverty,  the  humblest  that  may  be,  but  still  sup- 
ported in  a  way  sufficient  to  show  our  determination  not  to  give  up  our  rights, 
or  relinquish  the  maintenance  and  defence  of  a  sound  and  patriotic  principle. 
But  this  gentleman  compares  these,  our  schools,  with  theirs  on  which  more 
than  a  million  of  tlie  public  money  has  been  expended,  whilst  we  have  been 
virtually  shut  out  from  all  benefit  from  the  public  funds,  not  by  any  law  of  the 
State,  but  by  a  vicious  interpretation  of  the  law.  He  requires  us  to  furnish  as 
perfect  a  system  as  they  do,  with  the  expenditure  of  a  million  of  doUare  !  Ho 
is  reasoning  with  the  Secretary,  telling  him  in  effect  that  we  are  troublesome 
and  designing  people,  and  he  says : 

"Bat  having  in  view  the  stringency  with  which  the  same  party  insisted  on  the  ne- 
cessity of  religion  in  juxtaposition  with  secular  education,  and  the  warmth  with  which 
they  denounced  the  Public  School  system  when  they  saw  fit  to  charge  it  with  exclud- 
ing religion,  and  particularly  when  reference  is  had  to  their  avowed  dogma,  that  there  is 
no  hope  of  salvation  to  those  not  of  the  Borrmn  Catholic  Church — which  dogma  is  tww  taught 
in  their 

I  thank  God,  that  the  Catholics — the  long-oppressed  of  three  hundred  years, 
during  which  the  ear  of  the  world  was  poisoned  with  calumnies  against  them 
— have  now  liberty  of  speech,  and  ability  to  exercise  it,  and  I  call  Mr.  Cornell 
to  account  for  what  he  has  here  written,  and  to  which  he  has  affixed  hi«  name. 
He  says :  "  When  reference  is  had  to  their  avowed  dogma,  that  t  liere  is 
no  hope  of  salvation  to  those  not  of  the  Roman  Catholic  Church — which 
dogma  is  now  taught  in  their  schools." 

The  Catholics  avow  every  "  dogma  "  of  their  religion ;  but  the  two  state- 
ments employed  by  Mr.  Cornell  are  \iot\i  false.  It  never  was  and  never  can 
be  a  dogma  of  ours,  that  there  is  "  No  hope  of  salvation  to  those  not  of  the 
Roman  Catholic  Church."  Neither  is  that  dogma  taught  in  our  schools. 
This  false  statement  must  be  accounted  for  by  Mr.  Cornell's  ignorance  of 
our  doctrine  on  the  one  hand,  and  on  the  other  his  disposition  to  injure  us. 
I  call  upon  him,  I  arraign  him  before  the  people  of  New  York  and  the 
Senate,  whose  confidence  he  has  attempted  to  abuse,  to  prove  his  statement, 
or  else  to  retract  it. 

And  here  it  may  be  proper  for  me  to  explain  something  of  this  matter, 
for  I  know  that  in  the  minds  of  Protestants  almost  universally  there  is  that 
idea,  and  that  in  the  theological  language  of  the  Catholic  Church  there  is 
apparent  gi-ound  for  entertaining  it.  But  at  the  same  time  I  do  know  that 
that  language,  properly  understood  and  fairly  interpreted,  does  not  imply  the 
dogma  imputed  to  us  by  Mr.  Cornell. 

It  is  very  true  that  we  believe  that  out  of  the  true  Church  of  Christ  there 
is  no  salvation —  proposition. 

It  is  true  that  we  believe  the  Catholic  Church  to  be  the  true  Church  of 
Christ — second  proposition. 

It  is  very  true  that  notwithstanding  these  propositions,  there  is  no  dogma 
of  our  creed  which  teaches  that  a  Protestant  may  not  hope  to  be  saved,  or 
may  not  go  to  heaven.  Now,  how  is  this  explained  ?  In  this  way.  When 
we  speak  of  the  Church  we  mean  the  Church  as  Christ,  and  his  apostles  did 
— in  the  sense,  that  the  ordinary  means  for  the  salvation  of  mankind  are  tlie 


doctrines  and  institutions  wliioh  Jesus  left  on  earth,  which  have  all  descended 
in  the  Church  with  our  history  and  our  name.  Tliis  we  believe,  but  we  do 
not  believe  that  God  has  deprived  Himself,  because  He  instituted  these  things, 
of  the  means  of  saving  whomHe  will.  AVe  do  not  believe  that  on  this  ac- 
count the  power  of  the  Almighty  is  abridged.  Hence  it  is  consistent  with 
our  dogmas  to  believe,  that  God,  who  is  a  juit  Judge,  as  well  as  a  merciful 
Father,  will  not  condemn  any  one  for  involuntary  error.  Their  judgment 
will  be  individual;  they  were  externally  out  of  the  Church,  but  was  it  by 
their  own  will  or  the  accident  of  their  birth  and  education  in  a  false  relig- 
ion ?  '  Did  they  believe  that  religion  to  be  true,  in  good  faith,  and  in  the  sim- 
plicity of  their  hearts  ?  Were  they  ready  to  receive  the  light  and  grace  of 
truth  as  God  might  oifer  it  to  them  ?  Then,  in  that  case,  though  not  belong- 
ing to  the  Catholic  Church  by  external  profession,  they  belonged  to  it  by 
their  internal  disposition.  - 

Consequently  we  are  not  authorised  to  deny  hope  of  salvation  to  those  not 
of  the  Catholic  Church,  unless  so  far  as  the  errors  in  which  they  have  been 
involved,  have,  been  voluntary  and  culpable  on  tlieir  part.  And  this  is  no 
new  doctrine,  as  our  opponents  would  have  seen  had  they  consulted  tlie 
writings  of  the  highest  authorities  in  our  Church.  St.  Thomas  Aquinas — 
one  of  the  greatest  minds  that  ever  contributed  to  enlighten  the  human  race, 
as  Protestants  themselves  acknowledge — writing  in  the  11th  or  12th  centnry, 
speaits  of  a  man  who  is  not  even  a  Protestant  but  a  Pagan — a  man  wlio  has 
never  heard  of  Christ  or  of  Christianity,  and  he,  supposing  that  man  to  be 
moral — sincere — acting  according  to  the  best  lights  God  has  given  him — tells 
ns,  God  would  sooner  send  an  angel  to  guide  him  to  the  way  of  salvation, 
than  that  such  an  one  should  perish.  Such  is  the  sentiment  of  St.  Thomas 
Aquinas  expressed  in  his  works,  and  his  works  are  approved  of  by  our 
Church. — How  then  can  Mr.  Cornell  or  any  other  individual  say  that  we 
enter  into  judgment  respecting  those  who  die  out  of  the  pale  of  the  Church  ? 
I  publicly  call  upon  Mr.  Cornell  to  retract  or  qualify  his  official  statement. 

Sentiments  according  with  those  I  have  quoted  from  St.  Thomas  Aquinas 
I  have  myself  preached  in  the  Cathedral  of  Xew  York,  and  similar  ones 
have  been  abundantly  proclaimed  by  others,  and  amongst  them  I  would 
mention  a  very  distinguished  French  Bishop — then  the  Abbe  Fressinous.  In 
the  third  volume  of  his  Conferences,  he  has  one  special  sermon  on  the  sub- 
ject of  Exclusive  Salvation,  and  he  shows  that  of  all  Christian  denomina- 
tions there  is  no  one  more  abounding  in  charity  on  this  point  than  the  Cath- 
olic Church.  The  same  explanations  are  to  be  found  in  the  writings  of  Bos- 
suet,  St.  Francis  of  Sales,  and  St.  Augustine.*     With  these  facts  well  known, 

*  Salvation  out  of  the  CHnECH. — In  concluding  this  sinaple  and  brief  view  of  the 
Catholic  doctrine,  it  may  be  well  to  state  here  what  is  to  be  correctly  understood  of  that 
Catholic  sentiment,  "  Odt  of  the  Chubch  there  is  no  salvation." 

"  We  do  not  pretend  to  deny,  (says  Mr.  Bergier,)  that  there  are  numbers  of  men 
born  in  heresy  who  by  reason  of  their  little  light,  are  in  invincible  ignorance,  and  con- 
sequently excusable  before  God  :  these,  in  the  opinion  of  all:  judicious  Divines,  ongbt 
not  to  be  ranked  with  heretics."  This  is  the  very  doctrine  of  St.  Augustine,  (Epis. 
43,  ad  glorlam  et  alias,  n.  1.)  St.  Paul  tells  us,  in  his  Epistle  to  Tiius,  c.  3,  '  A  man 
that  is  a  heretic,  after  the  first  and  second  admonition,  avoid  ;  knowing  that  he  that  is 
such  a  one,  is  subverted  and  sinneth,  being  condemned  by  his  own  judgment.'  As  to 
those  who  defend  an  opinion,  either  false  or  perverse,  without  obstinacy,  and  who  have 
not  invented  it  from  a  daring  presumption,  but  received  it  from  their  parents  after  they 
were  seduced  and  had  fallen  into  error,  if  they  diligently  and  industriously  seek  for  the 
truth,  and  if  they  hold  themselves  ready  to  embrace  it  as  soon  as  they  shall  have  found 
it,  such  as  these  also  are  not  to  be  classed  with  heretics."    L.  1,  de  liapt.  contra  Donat. 

c.  4,  n.  5.  i-,         V    c 

"  Those  who  fall  with  heretics,  without  knowing  it,  believing  it  to  be  the  Church  of 

Jesus  Christ,  are  in  a  different  case  from  those  who  know  that  the  Catholic  Church  is 

spread  over  the  whole  world." — L.  4,  c.  1,  n.  1. 
"  ibe  Church  of  Jesus  Christ  may  have  through  the  power  of  her  spouse,  children 



how  did  those  gentlemen  venture  to  take  advantage  of  the.r  and  our  rela- 
tive situations,  and  calumniate  us  when  we  had  no  opportunity  of  repelling 
the  unfair  attack  ? 

Besides,  Mr.  Cornell  says— "Which  is  now  taught  in  their  schools.'  I 
deny  the  truth  of  that  statement,  and  demand  his  authority. 

But  now,  would  it,  think  you,  he  improper  on  my  part,  considering  that 
Mr.  Cornell  is  not  present,  to  intimate  some  of  the  liherties  which  ho  has 
taken  with  us  in  our  absence  ? 

throngliout  this  document,  lie  has  labored  to  prove  tliat  we  are  Catholics, 
and  not  only  that,  but  to  show  what  our  religion  i.s,  though  I  am  ratlier  at  a 
loss  to  imagine  where  he  .studied  Catholic  theology,  in  uhich  if  he  should 
persevere,  I  would  suggest  to  him  to  consult  better  authorities  than  the 
"  Journal  of  Commerce  "'  and  "  Tristniin  Sliaiidy."     (Laughter  and  cheers.) 

Now  it  never  occurred  to  us  to  nsk  of  what  religion  is  Mr.  Cornell  and 
the  Public  School  Society.  The  whole  ground  assumed  by  them  is,  tliat 
they  are  not  a  "  religious  society  "—well  wliat  are  tlicy  ?  Are  they  an  irre- 
ligious society  ?  Not  at  all.  They  are  members  of  churches,  and  I  have 
taken  the  pains  to  ascertain  that  Mr.  Cornell  is  a  member  of  Dr.  Spring's 
Church,  and  if  he  lectures  the  Catholics,  would  it  be  very  wrong  in  me  to 
speak  of  the  doctrines  of  his  creed?  Let  us  look  at  the  Westminster  Con- 
fession of  Faith,  the  rule  of  Presbyterian  dogmas,  and  see  whether  Mr.  Cor- 
nell opens  the  gates  of  Heaven  to  all  religious  denominations.  I  quote  from 
the  Westminster  Confession,  as  adopt*!  and  amended  in  the  United  States, 
and  published  by  Towar  and  Hogan,  Philadelphia.  In  page  111  it  is  said  : 
"  The  visible  church  consists  of  all  those  throughout  the  world  that  peofess 
the  true  religion." 

So  to  be  a  member  of  the  visible  church,  you  must  "  profess  "  the  true 
faith — "  together  with  their  children  " — happy  children !  (a  laugh)—"  and 
this  is  the  kingdom  of  our  Lord  Jesus   Christ,  the  house   and  family  of 


Here  is  another  statement  of  Mr.  Cornell :  "  They  are  not  merely  the  in- 
cidental remarks  of  the  historian,  or  extracts  from  the  Holy  Scriptures, 
'  without  note  or  comment,'  to  which  such  strong  exception  has  been  taken 
in  relation  to  the  Public  Schools,  but  they  are  such  as  ever  have,  and  in  the 
opinion  of  your  remonstrants,  must  ever  tend,  if  sustained  by  tax  imposed 
upon  the  anathematized  portion  of  the  community,  to  destroy  public  har- 
mony ;  and  such  as  would  prove  anything  rather  than  a  social  '  benefit.' " 

Now,  by  using  the  word  "anathematized"  he  conveys  the  impression 
that  all  out  of  the  pale  of  ourChurch  are  under  our  anathema.  I  demand 
the  proof.  I  have  studied  our  holy  religion  many  a  day,  but  never  jet 
have  I  discovered  any  such  anathema,  and  I  defy  Mr.  Cornell  to  point  it 

Mr.  Cornell  goes  on  to  say :  "Your  remonstrants  had  supposed  that  the 
fact  of  the  Public  School  Society  being  composed  of  men  professing  every 
variety  of  religious  faith,  would  neutralize  sectarian  tendencies  and  secure  it 
against  almse.^' 

Now,  there  is  something  exceedingly  specious  in  this,  but  it  is  indeed  a 
very  spurious  position.  They  refuse  our  application  on  the  ground  that 
we  are  a  religious  society,  and  when  we  charge  them  with  not  being 
a  religious  society,  they  repudiate  it  as  a  stigma  on  their  character. 
And  what  is  their  remedy  ?  That  they  "  will  neutralize  sectarian  tenden- 
cies by  the  variety  of  the  religions  that  they  introduce."  How  is  this  ? 
They  are  all  members  of  churches— and  that  does  them  honor — but  when- 

and  servants ;  if  they  grow  not  jjroud,  they  shall  have  part  in  Hia  inheritance ;  but 
if  they  are  proud,  they  shall  remain  without."    Ibid.  c.  16,  n.  23. 


ever  they  come  within  the  magical  circle  of  their  official  character,  then, 
like  negative  and  positive  brought  together  in  just  proportions,  they  neu- 
tralize each  other  ! !  Is  this  really  the  position  that  these  gentlemen  as- 
sume ?  How  arc  tlie  Trustees  chosen  ?  In  the  most  beautiful  manner  1  One 
or  two  Catholics  are  taken — a  Universalist — perchance,  and  so  of  other  de- 
nominations, and  theiy  they  say,  "  We  are  of  all  religions  !"  You  will  iind 
that  the  mass  of  the  Society  belongs  to  one  sect,  of  which  little  or  nothing 
js  said,  and  that  an  odd  one  is  taken  from  each  of  the  other  sects,  to  sanc- 
tify their  acts  !  There  is  a  sufficient  majority  of  one  denomination.  There 
is  atendency  and  aim  which  I  am  not  unwilling  to, proclaim — a  secret- un- 
derstanding— not  so  very  secret  either — to  the  effect  that ''as  there  is  a 
large  foreign  population  in  New  York,  and  mostly  Catholic,  our  liberties 
would  not  be  safe  unless  the  interests  of  Catholics  were  neutralized  in  their 
education."  We  reject  that  idea  with  scorn,  that  Catholics  have  to  learn 
the  principles  of  liberty  from  them.  At  a  period  when  Protestantism  was 
as  little  dreamt  of  as  steam  navigation.  Catholics  were  the  schoolmasters  of 
liberty  to  the  nations  of  the  world,  in  the  principles  of  liberty.  They  were 
Catholics  who  wrung  the  great  charter  of  English  liberty  from  the  hands 
of  the  tyrant.  And  was  that  their  first  eifort  in  the  cause  of  freedom  ?  No. 
That  was  only  the  written  recognition  of  their  rights,  which  the  encroach- 
ments of  his  predecessors  had  diminished,  and  having  thus  secured  their 
rights,  they  maintained  them  down  to  the  period  of  the  Reformation,  wheji 
their  high  and  honorable  notions  of  liberty  were  trampled  in  the  dust,  and 
were  never  restored  till  the  Revolution,  and  when  that  so  boasted  event  in 
the  Iristory  of  England  took  place,  it  only  recognized  the  rights  lost  at  the 
peiiod  of  the  Reformation,  wliich  Catholics  for  centxiries  before  had  known 
and  enjoyed.  Let  them  not  sny,  then,  that  our  religion  is  inimical  to  lib- 
erty— that  is  a  reproach  which  we  spurn — which  we  abominate  and  abhor! 
We  have  nothing  to  learn  from  them  of  human  liberty.  Their  part  is  to 
imitate  us,  not  ours  to  imitate  them  I     (Loud  applause.) 

If  that  is  the  principle  referred  to,  we  understand  it  perfectly  well,  and 
it  is  of  no  use  for  those  gentlemen  to  moot  it  for  the  purpose  of  showing  that 
our  claim  should  be  denied.  Was  that  indeed  their  object  ?  Not  at  all. 
But  their  object  was,  with  hands  that  should  have  been  better  employed, 
to  rake  up  that  wretched  remnant  of  prejudice  against  us,  and  pander  to 
the  vitiated  taste  that  could  relish  it. 

We  see,  then,  that  so  far  as  this  "  Remonstrance"  is  concerned,  there  is  not 
one  solitary  proposition  which  should  for  one  moment  have  arrested  the 
minds  of  the  Legislature.  The  bill  proposed  by  the  honorable  Secretary  of 
State  contemplated  no  special  favor.  Much  as  I  honor  that  distinguished 
individual,  I  would  not  esteem  him,  as  I  do,  if  he  had  in  his  bill  proposed 
anything  which  should  have  raised  us  above  our  fellow-citizens  of  other 
denominations.  But  the  bill  only  places  us  on  an  equality  with  others — 
with  that  we  are  satisfied — with  nothing  less  will  we  ever  be  satisfied. 
(Loud  cheers.) 

But,  hitherto,  these  gentlemen  have  assumed  various  shapes.  They  have 
viewed  with  self-complacency  the  beauty  of  their  system,  and  as  for  their 
few  schools — few  in  comparison  with  the  number  of  destitute  and  unprp- 
vided  children— I  have  nothing  to  say  against  them.  I  proposed  to  place 
our  schools  under  their  direction,  so  far  as  regarded  their  police  and  man- 
agement. But  I  would  not  permit  them  to  teach  our  childret  that  Catho- 
lics were  deceitful — that  Galileo  was  put  into  the  Inquisition  and  punished 
for  the  heresy  that  the  earth  revolved  on  its  own  axis  around  the  sun. 
Galileo's  crime  was  not  teaching  sound  philosophy,  but  bad  theology- 
wishing  the  Church  to  declare  that  his  theory  was  in  accordance  with  the 
Scriptures.    For  reasons  like  these  I  would  not  allow  them  to  mislead  our 


children,  but  I  was  willing  to  allow  the  gentlemen  the  external  manage 
inent  of  our  schools.  They,  however,  would  have  universal  rule,  or  none 
at  all. 

What  has  been  their  panacea  for  all  complaints  1  To  invite  the  City- 
Council  to  visit  the  schools  !  And  certainly,  I  presume,  it  would  be  impos- 
sible to  visit  their  schools,  without  being  satisfied  with  thex"  appearance. 
But  had  I  been  able  to  have  made  my  voice  heard  in  the  Senate  of  the 
State,  when  they  made  the  proposition  to  visit  their  schools,  I  should  have 
proposed  something  like  an  amendment.  I  would  have  prayed  these  sen- 
ators, in  the  name  of  humanity  and  their  country,  and  of  all  the  beneyo- 
lence  that  beats  in  the  human  breast,  to  visit — not  the  schools,  but  the 
lanes  and  alleys  and  obscure  resorts  of  the  poor  neglected  children  of  New 
York,  and  there  see,  not  how  much  is  done,  but  how  much  is  left  undone. 
These  are  the  portions  of  the  city  that  should  be  visited.  It  is  utterly  im- 
possible, owing  to  their  scattered  condition,  to  learn  the  numbers  of  chil- 
dren in  this  city  who  are  deprived  by  these  gentlemen  of  the  blessings  of 
education.  We,  who  mingle  with  the  people,  and  have  the  opportunity  of 
learning  the  dislike  of  this  system — that  they  would  no  more  trust  their 
children  to  it,  than  to  that  tyrannical  system  of  British  misgovernment 
which  their  fathers  knew  so  well,  and  from  which  they  derived  that  sad 
legacy  of  ignorance  and  poverty.  I  refer  to  the  laws  which  made  educa- 
tion a  crime  in  Ireland,  and  which  have  left  the  inhabitants  of  that  country 
the  degraded  but  unbroken  people  that  they  are  to  this  day,  after  a  perse- 
cution of  three  hundred  years.     (Cheers.) 

It  is  for  these  poor,  neglected,  uneducated  children,  that  I  plead.  Their 
parents  will  not  send  them  to  the  Public  School  whilst  constituted  as  at 
present,  and  I  approve  of  their  resolution.  I  trust  they  never  will  send 
their  children  to  schools  managed  by  men  who  can  send  to  the  Senate  of 
this  State  a  burlesque  upon  our  creed,  and  represent  it  as  a  genuine 
exhibition  of  our  faith  and  principles.  Bather  will  we  trust  to  the  kind 
and  merciful  Providence  of  God,  than  voluntarily  relinquish  a  principle  by 
which  we  mamtain  the  right  implanted  in  the  breast  of  every  parent,  and 
secured  by  the  laws,  to  have  a  voice  in  the  education  of  his  child.  It  is 
these  children  that  should  be  visited.  Then  would  these  Honorable  Sen- 
ators, whom  I  know  to  be  above  all  those  petty  prejudices  which  have  been 
appealed  to,  do  justice,  and  apply  a  remedy  so  far  as  the  law  would  au- 
thorize them. 

I  must  now  soon  conclude  my  remarks  for  this  evening.  I  will  merely 
refer  to  the  objection  of  the  Society  to  the  bill  of  Mr.  Spencer — its  tendency 
to  introduce  party  politics.  Everything  is  held  in  this  country  to  be  in  the 
hands  of  the  people ;  yet  these  gentlemen,  after  enjoying  a  monopoly  for 
sixteen  years,  think  it  a  great  misfortune  if  the  tax-payers  should  be 
allowed  a  voice  at  all  in  the  selection  of  the  teachers  in  the  schools  which 
they  support,  or  any  share  whatever  in  their  management. 

The  next  objection  to  the  bill  is,  its  want  of  uniformity.  Because  they 
happen  to  have  school-houses  exactly  one  like  the  other,  and  have  a  uni- 
form style  of  books,  the  large,  and  liberal,  and  statesmanlike  plan  of  the 
Honorable  Secretary  should  be  ^ven  up,  because,  forsooth,  these  "humble 
almoners"  pronounce  it  void  of  uniformity  1  "  Humble  almoners,"  who, 
after  coiling  their  roots  around  the  Common  Council,  and  making  them 
judges  in  the  cause,  go  to  Albany  to  defeat  our  claims.  Well,  they  may  call 
themselves  "humble  almoners"  if  they  please,  but  they  remind  me  very 
Aiuch  of  the  beggar  in  Gil  Bias,  who,  when  he  asked  alms,  always  took  good 
care  to  have  his  musket  ready  ! 

I  have  now  gone  briefly  throtigh  this  part  of  the  subject,  and  I  ask  you 
whether  we  can  have  any  confidence  in  men  who  can  stoop  to  such  artifices 


as  I  have  exposed  ?  I  call  upon  tbem  to  vindicate  themselves  frouj  tho 
diahonoi-  of  having  circulated  that  document  from  Tristram  Shandy.  It 
was  done  by  one  of  their  colleag'ies  and  their  official  agent,  who  when 
charged  with  it,  replied  that  he  had  done  so  under  instructions? 
What  instructions  ?  Did  they  instruct  him  ?  If  not,  let  them 
say  so  by  a  public  act.  Until  they  do  so,  we  justly  chai-ge  them 
with  being  the  traducers  of  our  reputation — I  charge  them  on 
the  ground  that  they  are  responsible  for  the  act  of  their  agent, 
and  they  should  have  known  better.  Gentlemen  claiming  to  be  ex- 
clusively the  judges  of  what  is  a  proper  system  of  education — who  hold 
that  you  are  unworthy  of  having  anything  to  do  with  the  schools  of  New 
York — should  have  known  that  that  document  was  from  Tristram 
Shandy,  written,  I  presume,  for  his  amusement  by  Mr.  Sterne — who,  though 
numbered  amongst  the  clergy  of  the  Church  of  England,  was  believed  to 
be  an  infidel — a  man,  who  secretly  scoffed  at  every  thing  sacred — and  the 
working  of  whose  rank  imagination  is  too  offensive  for  the  eye  of  delicacy. 
Surely,  then,  these  gentlemen  should  not  have  drawn  weapons  from  such  a 
source,  for  the  purpose  of  destroying  the  reputation  of  any  class  of  their 

This  is  not  the  first  occasion  on  which  we  have  been  misrepresented,  and 
religious  gentlemen,  whose  avowed  purpose  it  is  to  preach  the  gospel  of 
peace,  have  taken  up  the  habit  of  abusing  us,  and  have  rung  the  changes 
on  this  topic,  till  in  some  instances  some  of  their  audiences — more  liberal 
than  they — have  left  the  place  disgusted.  They  remind  me  of  a  saying  of 
this  same  Sterne,  who  when  quizzing  the  credulity  of  the  people  of  Eng- 
land— for  he  was  a  great  wag — said  tliat  occasionally  he  was  straitened 
for  the  price  of  a  dinner,  but  he  could  always  manage  to  make  a  good  meal 
of  OliesJiire  cheese;  taut  it  also  happened,  that  oftentimes  he  was  in  a  similar 
strait  in  his  official  capacity,  and  was  called  on  to  preach  when  he  had  not 
a  word  of  a  sermon  prepared,  and  then  he  took  "  a  fling  at  Popery."  The 
people  went  away  edified  and  delighted.  For  this  reason  he  says,  "  I  call 
Popery  my  Cheshire  cheese  1'  (Loud  laughter,)  It  seems  to  me  that  the 
occupants  of  half  the  pulpits  of  New  Yjork,.are  nearly  in  the  same  predica- 
ment, and  would  die  of  inanition,  were  it  not  that  their  stock  of  "Cheshire 
cheese  "  is  still  unexhausted.     (Renewed  laughter  and  applause.) 

1  think  I  can  safely  say,  that  in  none  of  our  churches  will  you  hear  such 
abuse.  AVe  never  touch  upon  secular  affairs— you  will  not  even  hear  from 
our  pulpits,  harangues  about  abolition.  We.explain  and  defend  our  creed, 
and  I  trust,  preach  chq,rity,  and  peace,  and  order.  But  it  is  not  so  with 
those  who  assail  us  as  I '  have  described,  as  I  will  have  occasion  to  show, 
when  treating  of  Mr.  Ketchum's  speech,  which  I  intend  to  do  on  to-mor- 
row evening. 

The  Bishop  then  concluded,  after  speaking  nearly  two  hours,  and  a  vote 
of  thanks  having  been  passed  to  the  Chairman,  the  large  and  attentive 
meeting  adjourned. 


The  audience  on  this  occasion  was  still  more  numerous  than  on  the  pre- 
vious evening.  Several  distinguished  senators,  and  influential  gentlemen 
of  other  denominations,  were  present.  The  meeting  was  organized  by  the 
appointment  of  the  same  Chairman  who  presided  at  the  former  meeting — 
and  at  eight  o'clock 

The  Right  Ret.  Bishop  Hughes  resumed  his  remarks  as  follows :    The 


question,  Gentlemen,  which  has  called  us  together,  has  had  two  stages  of 
progress  which  must  be  kept  distinct,  in  order  to  comprehend  its  present 
position.  We  have  from  time  to  time  applied  to  the  Common  Council  of 
this  city  for  relief,  which  we  knew  they  had  the  power  to  grant,  and  we 
had  applied  as  it  were  in  an  isolated,  and,  if  you  please,  in  a  somewhat 
sectarian  character.  The  reason  of  this  will  be  easily  understood,^  when 
you  reflect  that  we  had  no  intention  to  disturb  the  system  of  education  so 
generally  approved  by  our  fellow-citizens.  Our  object  was  not  to  destroy 
that  which  was  good  for  oihers,  if  they  thought  so,  but  to  find  something 
that  might  be  equally  good  for  ourselves.  Accordingly,  w6  applied  as 
Catholics,  because  it  appeared  that  'there  were  no  other  denominations 
whose  consciences  suffered  under  the  operation  of  that  system. _  And  we 
did  suppose  that  these  considerations  would  have  had  some  weight  with 
the  Honorable  Council.  We  might — as  we  are  reproached  with  not  having 
done — we  might  have  interfered  with  the  regulations  of  these  schools — 
asked  for  a  different  order  of  books — required  the  erasure  of  such  and  such 
passages,  and  the  insertion  of  others.  They  reproach  us  with  not  doing  so. 
But  if  we  had  done  so,  it  would,  in  the  first  place,  have  been  pains  thrown 
away,  and  in  the  second  place,  we  might  thereby  have  disobliged  many  of 
our  fellow-citizens  of  other  denominations.  Without  at  all  pressing  the 
question  upon  them,  farther  than  observing  that  even  the  reading  of  the 
Holy  Scriptures  according  to  the  Protestant  version,  was  looked  upon  by 
us  as  an  invasion  of  our  conscientious  rights,  they  took  it  up  as  an  objec- 
tion against  the  reading  of  the  Scriptures  at  all ;  as  if  the  presence  of  a 
Bible  within  the  walls  of  a  school  was  a  thing  we  could  not  bear.  It  is 
needless  to  say  how  wrong  that  inference  was.  But  we  did  not  at  all  wish 
to  disturb  the  Protestant's  approbation  of  hii  version  of  the  sacred  volume, 
nor  the  order  that  seemed  so  generally  approved,  and  that  was  the  reason 
of  the  mode  of  our  application.  In  the  course  of  my  speech,  therefore,  you 
will  understand,  that  we  did  not  so  apply  for  relief,  because  we  wished  to 
be  apart,  separate  from  the  rest  of  the  community — that  it  was  not  because 
we  were  exclusive  or  intolerant,  as  they  have  charged  upon  us ;  but  because 
we  supposed  that  they  would  not  wish  to  have  their  children  hear  the 
Catholic  version  of  the  Bible  read,  and  therefore  they  have  no  right  to  im- 
pose on  our  children  the  hearing  of  the  Protestant  version.  If  that  be 
sectarianism,  then  we  plead  guilty  to  the  charge ;  but  without  feeling  and 
acting  so,  we  could  not  have  our  consciences  simple,  and  in  their  integrity 
upright  towards  God. 

When,  however,  after  having  gone  through  the  ceremony — for  it  was 
nothing  else— of  appearing  before  the  Common  Council,  and  having  been 
heard  and  denied,  as  a.  matter  of  course,  when  we  had  gone  through  the 
ceremony  required  by  the  formulary  of  the  law,  then,  indeed,  we  threw  our- 
selves on  our  general  rights  as  citizens,  and  appealed  to  that  tribunal,  to 
which  we  must  always  look  with  confidence  for  the  redress  of  every  griev- 
ance that  presses  on  us  in  our  social  condition.  Nevertheless  our  opponents 
followed  us  there,  and  fastened  upon  us  the  character,  in  which  it  had  been 
the  duty  imposed  on  us  by  necessity  to  appear  before  the  Common  Council. 
We  have  had  occasion  already  to  point  out  some  evidences  of  tl;e  use  made 
of  that  in  the  "  Remonstrance."  You  read  with  what  recklessness  of  truth 
—I  am  sorry  to  say— it  was  charged  in  that  document,  that  we  were  in- 
tolerant—that we  taught  there  was  no  salvation  out  of  the  Catholic  Church, 
and  so  forth.  There  are  in  that  document  of  the  Public  School  Society, 
many  other  passages  requiring  examination,  but  as  the  substance  of  them 
is  contained  in  the  speech  of  the  learned  gentleman  who  was  their  official 
oi-gan  before  the  Senate,  I  suppose  that  the  refutation  of  the  one,  will  be 
the  refutation  of  both ;  and,  therefore,  I  deem  it  unnecessary  to  refer  further 


to  tliat  memorial.  They — that  gentleman  particularly — referred  in  the 
course  of  the  debate,  to  a  proposition  for  accommodation  on  the  part  of 
the  Society  previous  to  the  last  decision  of  the  Public  Council.  They- 
alleged  that  nothing  could  be  fairer,  but  when  we  had  examined  that,  we 
found  that  of  not  a  solitary  grievance  of  which  we  had  complained  did  it 
take  notice.  Not  the  slightest  notice.  The  whole  proposal  was  that  they 
should  correct  the  books,  so  far  as  their  guardianship  of  the  rights  of  con- 
science — for  they  are  conscience  keepers  for  the  different  sects  in  this  com- 
munity !— would  allow.  They  would  accommodate  us  by  striking  out 
passages  insulting  and  offensive  to  our  minds,  and  injurious  to  our  children. 
That  was  all  the  amount  of  the  concessions.  Then  the  second  proposition 
was,  that  they  would  purchase  from  us — they  can  aftord  to  do  so — the  only 
school-house  which  our  humble  means  have  enabled  us  to  erect  during  the 
sixteen  years  of  privation  from  the  bei;ieiits  of  Common  School  Education. 
These  were  the  only  two  features  that  distinguished  that  offer  of  accommo- 
dation. But  Mr.  Ketchum  did  not  find  it  convenient  to  read  the  proposi- 
tions that  we  submitted  at  the  same  time,  and  which,  candor  should  have 
acknowledged,  removed  from  us  every  imputation  of  being  actuated  by 
sectarian  motives,  or  having  in  view  the  appropriation  of  the  public  money 
to  the  propagation  of  our  religion. 

I  will  now  commence  with  reading  but  a  small  portion  of  that,  sufficient, 
however,  to  show  you  that  on  this  ground,  so  far  as  information  was  con- 
cerned, they  had  it ;  and  if,  with  that  in  their  possession,  they  conceal  the 
truth,  and  suppressed  it,  on  their  heads  be  the  responsibility  that  attaches 
to  such  conduct. 

"What  is  the  great  difficulty — the  legal  difficulty  ?  That  public  money 
can  not  be  applied  to  sectarian  uses.  Very  well.  "We  met  that ;  we  said 
here  are  propositions  that  cover  our  whole  ground : 

*'  That  there  shall  be  reserved  to  the  Managers  or  Trustees  of  these  schools  respec- 
tively, the  desigoation  of  the  teachers  to  be  ajxpointed,  who  shall  be  subjected  to  the 
examination  of  a  Committee  of  the  Public  School  Society,  shall  be  fully  qualifled  for  the 
duties  of  their  appointment,  and  of  unexceptionable  moral  character;  or  in  the  event  of 
the  Trustees  or  Managers  failing  to  present  individuals  for  these  situations  of  that 
description,  then,  individuals  having  like  qualifications  of  unexceptionable  character,  to 
be  selected  and  appointed  by  the  Z-*ublic  School  Society,  who  shall  be  acceptable  to  the 
Managers  or  Trustees  of  the  Schools  to  which  they  shall  be  appointed  ;  but  no  person 
to  be  continued  as  a  teacher  in  either  of  the  schools  referred  to  against  the  wishes  of  the 
Managers  or  Trustees  thereof." 

That  was  the  first  proposition,  showing  them  that  so  far  as  the  teachers 
were  concerned,  all  we  wanted  were  men  in  whom  we  could  place  confi- 
dence.    The  second  proposition  was  : 

"  2d.  That  the  school  shall  be  open  at  all  times  to  the  inspection  of  any  authorized 
agent  or  officer  of  the  city  or  State  government,  with  liberty  to  visit  the  same,  and  ex- 
amine the  books  used  therein,  or  the  teachers,  touching  the  course  and  system  of  in- 
struction pursued  in  the  schools,  or  in  relation  to  any  matter  connected  therewith." 

So  that  there  was  no  concealment  there,  they  themselves  should  be  the 
inspectors,  and  I  will  say  it  boldly,  that  if  they  had  been  actuated  by  that 
deejj  feeling  of  humanity  for  which  they  claim  credit,  they  would  have  ac- 
cepted that  proposal  to  take  our  children  under  their  care  affording  to  them 
the  same  means  of  gaining  future  happiness  as  they  did  to  others. 

The  document  goes  on  : 

"  The  undersigned  are  willing  that,  in  the  superintendence  of  their  schools,  every 
specified  requirement  of  any  and  every  law  passed  by  the  Legislature  of  the  State,  or 
the  ordinances  of  the  Common  Council,  to  guard  agiiinst  abuse  in  the  matter  of  common 
school  education,  shall  be  rigidly  enforced  and  exacted  by  the  competent  public  authori- 

"  They  believe  that  the  benevolent  object  of  every  such  law  is  to  bring  the  means  of 
education  within  the  reach  of  the  child  of  every  poor  man,  without  damaging  their  re- 
ligion, whatever  it  may  be,  or  the  religious  rights  of  any  such  child  or  parent. 


"  It  is  irf  consequence  of  what  they  consider  the  damaging  of  their  religion  and  tbeir 
religious  rights,  in  the  schools  of  the  Public  School  Society,  that  they  have  been  obliged 
to  withdraw  their  children  from  them.  The  facts  which  they  have  already  submitted, 
and  which  have  been  more  than  sustained  by  the  sentiments  uttered  on  behalf  of  the 
Society,  in  the  late  discussion,  prov&that  they  were  not  mistaken. 

"  As  regards  the  organization  of  their  schools,  they  are  willing  that  they  should  be 
under  the  same  police  and  regulations  as  those  of  the  Public  School  Society.  The  same 
hours,  the  same  order,  the  same  exercises,  even  the  same  inspection. 

"  But  the  books  to  be  used  for  exercises  in  learning  to  read  or  spell,  in  history,  geo- 
graphy, and  all  such  elementary  knowledge,  as  could  have  a  tendency  lo  operate  on 
their  heiiits  and  minds,  in  reference  to  their  religion,  must  be,  so  far  as  Catholic  chil- 
dren are  concerned,  and  no  farther,  such  as  they  shall  judge  proper  to  put  in  their 
bands.  IJut  none  of  their  dogmas,  nothing  against  the  creed  of  any  other  denomina- 
tion shall  be  introduced." 

Reference  is  here  made  to  the  sentiments  uttered  by  the  advocates  of  the 
Public  School  Society  in  their  opposition  to  our  claim  before  the  Common 
Council.  Many  of  my  present  audience  were  perhaps  there,  and  tliey  can 
remember  what'  an  array  of  individuals  otherwise  distinguislied  by  their 
character — what  an  array  of  bigotry  and  of  prejadice,  and  we  must  say,  of 
profound  ignorance,  was  presented  against  us.  One  reverend  gentleman 
came  there  and  said,  in  reference  to  our  objection  to  the  Protestant  version 
of.  the  Bible,  that  one  of  our  comments  taught  "  the  lawfulness  of  murder- 
ing heretics."  Before  the  Common  Council,  I  brought  that  gentleman  to 
account,  and  I  assure  you,  that  considering  his  grey  hairs,  and  the  respect 
that  is  due  to  age  and  the  sacred  character  of  a  minister  of  peace,  I  felt 
humbled  at  beholding  the  degraded  position  in  which  he  found  himself  be- 
fore I  had  done.  He  had  however  obtained  a  copy  of  an  old  version  of  the 
Scriptures,  published  by  the  Catholic  refugees  in  the  time  of  Queen  Eliza- 
beth, who  wishing  to  prepare  the  way  for  an  invasion  by  the  Spanish,  wrote 
a  series  of  notes  on  the  Scriptares  which  they  thought  would  tend  to  effect 
that  end.  So  soon,  however,  as  these  notes  became  known  in  England  and 
Ireland,  they  were  scouted  with  horror  by  all  professing  the  Catholic  name. 
A  few  copies  of  that  version, however,  remained,  lost  and  forgotten  ;  and  an 
ignorant  publisher  in  Cork,  thinking  to  make  a  profitable  speculation,  ob- 
tained one  of  them,  and  not  knowing,  as  was  afterwards  proved,  the  differ- 
ence between  it  and  the  authorized  version,  he  undertook  to  publish  another 
edition  of  it.  In  the  process  of  publication,  however,  the  character  of  the 
work  became  known,  and  the  Archbishop  of  Dublin  forbade  the  publica- 
tion. The  publisher  was  ruined,  and  he  commenced  a  suit  for  damages. 
The  matter  was  referred  to  in  Committees  of  the  Housfe  of  Commons,  and 
of  the  House  of  Lord.?,  and  all  the  particulars  of  the  case  were,  of  course, 
thus  given  the  greatest  possible  publicity.  Well,  the  publisher  being  de- 
prived of  his  anticipated  sale  in  Ireland,  where  the  Catholics  would  not  pur- 
chase such  a  book,  thought  that  by  sending  some  to  this  country,  people  as 
ignorant  as  himself  might  purchase  them,  and  thus  the  work  might  not 
prove  a  dead  loss.  In  this  way  a  copy  fell  into  the  hands  of  one  of  these 
gentlemen,  and  what  do  they  do  ?  "Why  about  the  same  period  that  "  Maria 
Monk"  was  published — and  I  know  not,  but  from  the  same  press — they 
emitted  an  edition  of  this  Bible,  in  order  to  excite  public  odium  against  their 
Catholic  fellow-citizens !  It  was  then,  with  a  copy  of  that  in  his  hand,  that 
that  clergyman  came  forward  to  prove,  by"  means  of  that  forgery,  that  we 
taught  the  lawfulness  of  murdering  heretics.  Then,  besides  that,  there  was 
another  gentleman,  and  he,  in  speaking  on  the  subject  of  those  very  schools, 
.and  offering  reasons  why  we  should  be  denied  the  benefits  of  education,  in- 
stituted a  comparison — all  the  others  had,  with  great  professions  of  respect, 
and  benevolent  feelings  for  us,  said  "  it  was  not  because  we  were  Catholics, 
that  they  opposed  us,"  oh  !  no,  they  always  qualified  it — but  he  instituted  a 
oomparison  between  the  religion  of  Fenelon  and  Voltaire,  and  with  marvel- 


lous  candor,  for^^etting  the  preface,  admitted  that  he  opposed  us  heoause  wa 
were  Catholics!  This  gentleman  said,  that  if  he  had  no  alternative,  he 
would  sooner  be  of  the  religion  of  Voltaire,  than  that  of  Fenelon.  These 
are  tlie  sentiments  to  which  I  allude,  and  to  which  reference  is  here  made, 
wlien  we  say  that  such  sentiments  are  only  calculated  to  strengthen  the  con- 
viction, that  our  Catholic  children  from  the  prejudices  against  their  parent- 
age and  religion,  had  no  chance-of  justice  in  those  schools. 

The  committee  to  whom  was  referred  an  examination  of  the  schools,  make 
a  report,  and  in  that,  after  quoting  the  two  propositions  for  accommodation, 
they  take  occasion  to  say  : — "  Your  Committee  deem  it  proper  to  remark,  in 
vindication  of  the  School  Society,  that  they  were  only  one  of  the  num- 
erous remonstrants  against  the  prayer  of  the  petitioners.  Their  views  were 
represented  at  the  late  discussion  before  the  Board  only  by  tlieir  legal  ad- 
visers, Messr.^.  Sedgwick  and  Ketchum.  The  other  gentlemen  who  partici- 
pated in  the  discussion  represented  other  bodies,  which  are  not  in  any  man- 
ner connected  witli  them.  Sentiments  were  uttered  by  them  which  the 
Scliool  Society  do  not  entertain,  and  for  which  they  are  not  justly  accountable.' 

So  they  say,  but  by  \vhom  ?  It  would  go  abroad  that  this  was  a  declara- 
tion from  the  whole  body  of  the  Public  School  Society.  I  do  not  believe 
tliat  was  the  fact,  and  I  have  no  reason  to  believe  it.  Because  I  do  know 
that  these  gentlemen  used,  or  at  least  admitted,  this  sentiment — this  bad  sen- 
timent of  their  associates — for  the  purpose  of  defeating  us,  and  they  were 
perfectly  satisfied  with  the  victory,  without  at  all  disclaiming  the  dishonor- 
able means  they  had  employed  to  secure  it.  But  as  easily  could  the  English 
efface  the  stigma  that  rests  upon  them  from  their  employment  of  the  Indian's 
tomahawk,  during  their  warfare  with  America.  And  I  ask  them  is  tliere  on 
their  records,  a  disapproval  of  the  declaration  of  Dr.-  Spring,  or  of  Dr. 
Bond? — the  one,  that  we  would  murder  heretics,  and  the  other,  that  the 
religion  of  Voltaire  was  to  be  preferred  to  that  of  Fenelon  ?  Have  they  in 
any  one  official  document  disowned  that  ?  We  challenge  them  to  show,  tliat 
the  question  of  a  disclaimer  has  ever  been  mooted  ?  On  the  contrary,  we 
have  reason  to  believe,  that  they  approved  of  these  statements  made  by  Drs. 
Spring  and  Bond,  and  that  from  their  own  document  too,  signed  by  the 
president  and  secretary,  which  goes  nearly  as  far.  And  yet  these  are  the 
men  to  whom  we  are  required  to  give  the  management  of  the  education  of 
our  children!  They  have  hedged  education  around  with  an  impenetrable 
wall,  beyond  which  no  applicant  from  our  body  can  'be  admitted,  except  on 
terms  that  violate  our  civil  and  religious  rights.  A  state  of  ignorance  ana 
degradation  is  the  destiny  assigned  to  those  who  will  not  submit  to  their 
Procrustean  system,  to  the  dimensions  of  which  all  must  submit  to  be  adapted. 

The  Society  acknowledge  that  Messrs.  Ketchura  and  Sedgwick  are  their 
official  organs.  Well,  we  find  Mr.  Sedgwick  in  the  speech  referred  to  on  last 
evening,  absolutely  disclaiming  the  teaching  of  religion.  He  said  it  was  a 
mistake  to  suppose  that  what  was  called  religious  instruction,  meant  anything 
more  than  simple  morality,  which  he  stated  to  be  the  basis  of  all  religion. 
And  do  these  gentlemen  intend  to  reverse  the  order  of  the  Almighty,  and  by 
giving  this  precedence  to  morality,  to  say  that  men  must  be  good  without  a 
motive,  and  then  they  may  learn  religion  ?  How  then  can  they  quarrel  with 
us  for  saying,  that  they  attempted^  what  Mr.  Spencer  says  well,  is  impossible, 
to  divorce  religion  from  education  ?  It  was  on  that  ground  that  they  appeared 
before  the  Common  Council  and  defeated  our  claims:  for  you  saw  yesterday 
and  to-day,  the  crime  charged  upon  us,  the  disqualifying  circumstance,  was, 
that  we  belonged  to  a  religious  society,  and  the  public  money  was  not  to  be 
appropriated  in  any  way  except  in  the  promotion  of  "  purely  secular  educa- 
tion." When  we  told  them,  that  we  supposed  they  were  sincere  in  their 
declaration;  and  that  by  divorcing  religion  from  education,  thusS  leaving  the 


cLildi-en  without  the  necessary  motive  to  virtue  and  morality,  and  wholly  des 
titute  of  iiuy  principle  to  curb  their  rising  passions,  they  seemed  to  exclaim, 
"Oh!  what  an  impious  set  of  men  you  suppose  us  to  be.  Atheists!  "  No 
not  exactly,  but  I  accuse  you  of  being  what  yourselves  assume.  You  defeat 
all  applications  made  by  a|:iplicants  professing  religion.  You  contend  that, 
religion  must  not  be  any  part  of  state  education.  Well  then  how  can  you 
bo  dissatislied  if  we  call  you  anti-religious,  according  to  the  principles  you 
have  yourselves  assumed  ? 

The  fact  is,  that  in  order  to  conciliate  those  whose  minds  are  haunted  by 
a  certain  spectre,  of  a  union  between  Church  and  State,  and  in  order  to 
bring  them  to  the  support  of  the  Society,  they  pretended  to  meet  their  views 
exactly,  then  again,  on  the  other  hand,  attempted  to  satisfy  the  scruples  of 
conscientious  parents,  by  playing  the  several  sects  one  against  the  other,  and 
with  so  much  adroitness,  that  the  whole  community  came  to  the  desired 
conclusion,  that  the  interests  of  education  and  morality  were  perfectly  safe 
in  the  hands  of  the  Society,  and  could  not  be  safe  in  the  hands  of  any  other. 

In  taking  up  the  speech  of  Mr.  Ketchum,  I  must  premise  that  he  has 
divided  it  into  two  parts,  and  that  of  the  many  columns  by  which  it  is  sup- 
ported, the  first  two  or  thr^ee  arc  occupied  with  a  detailed  history  of  the 
legislation,  so  called,  of  the  Common  Council  on  this  question.  Now,  I 
understand  the  part  of  this  gentleman — who  has  perhaps  as  deep  a  knowl- 
edge of  the  mystery  of  political  wire-drawing  as  any  other  gentleman  of  his 
profession  in  the  State — I  understand  his  introduction  of  this  matter,  entirely 
foreign  to  the  subject.  His  object  was  to  impress  the  minds  of  the  Senators 
with  the  idea  that  in  New  York,  the  question  had  been  decided — that  Boards 
of  Aldermen  had  been  changed — the  position  of  parties  changed — applica- 
tions had  been  made,  from  time  to  time,  for  sixteen  years,  and  that  after  the 
gravest  reflection,  under  all  possible  variety  of  circumstances,  the  answer 
uniformly  was,  that  it  would  be  a  violation  of  something  that  he  calls  "a 
great  principle  " — which,  however,  he  does  not  think  proper  to  define — if  our 
claims  were  admitted.  He  wished  to  convey  the  idea  that  if  there  had  been 
any  thing  just,  or  proper,  or  true  in  our  claims,  it  could  not  have  escaped  the 
notice  of  public  officers  in  New  York — the  immediate  representatives  of  the 
people,  and  that  consequently,  the  Senators  should  approach  the  subject  with, 
minds  already  biased  and  prejudiced  against  us.  The  gentleman  wished  to 
lead  the  honorable  legislators  to  say,  "What!  shall  we  on  the  examination 
pf  one  hour — at  this  distance  from  the  city  of  New  York — undertake  to 
reverse  the  judgment  sustained  by  the  uniform  concurrence  of  the  various 
Boards  that  have  constituted  the  public  Councils  of  that  city  for  sixteen 
years !  "  There  was  great  generalship  in  all  that,  on  the  part  of  the  learned 

But  I  dispute  the  principle,  in  toto,  which  the  gentleman  assumes,  and 
before  that  Honorable  Senate,  I  would  maintain  that  the  gentleman  has  no 
foundation  whatevei',  for  his  assumption;  and  that  this  question  should  be 
viewed  by  them  as  if  approached  for  the  first  time. 

And  what  is  my  reason  for  assuming  this  position?  You  will  mark  that 
the  learned  gentleman  frequently  styles  the  Common  Council  "  the  repre- 
sentatives of  the  people;"  my  argument  in  reply,  then  is,  that  so  far  as 
regards  this  School  Question,  they  never  were  the  "representatives  of  the 
people,"  for  that  question  never  was  made  one  that  could  affect  their  election 
in  the  most  remote  degree.  At  least,  so  we  thought.  So  far  as  we  are  con- 
cerned, we  are  right.  True,  whilst  we  were  meeting  to  study  this  subject 
and  bring  it  under  public  notice,  these  gentlemen  of  the  Society  were  ever 
and  anon  charging  i  s  with  political  designs,  and  I  recollect  something  of  an 
amusing  nature  connected  with  that.  It  was  my  duty  on  the  day  succeeding 
the  Deblite  before  the  Common  Council,  to  proceed  to  Albany,  for  the  pur- 


pose  of  giving  confirmation;  I  went — preaclied  three  times  next  day,  Sunday 
— on  Monday,  a  very  stormy  day,  I  drove  to  Troy,  for  t)ie  purpose  of  visiting 
tlie  olinrclies  there,  and  on  Tuesday,  I  returned  to  this  city.  Well,  what  was 
the  story? — of  course,  I  do  not  say  got  up  by  these  gentlemen,  nor  by  the 
Public  School  Society — but  it  was  said,  that  I,  having  taken  tea  with  tlio 
Aldeimen,  a  bargain  was  struck  between  us,  and  I  was  to  go  to  Albany,  to 
get  thu  Catholics  to  vote  against  theQovernor,  and  then  all  would  be  right! 
(Laughter.)  That  was  a  specimen  of  the  stories  that  were  circulated  ;  but 
while  we  were  thus  charged,  they  who  brought  the  accusation  were  them- 
selves not  idle  in  that  very  department.  The  subject  was  introduced  to  tlieir 
pulpits,  and  their  congregations  were  lectured  on  it,  and  from  that  may  be 
traced  the  attempt  to  defeat  Governor  Seward. 

But  we  never  made  this  a  political  question,  and  the  Common  Council 
never  acted  on  it  "as  the  rejiresentatives  of  the  people,"  because  it  never 
was  applied  as  a  test;  but  if  the  question  were  put  between  the  Secretary's 
plan  and  the  Public  School  Society,  the  latter  would  soon  break  down  any 
Board  that  would  undertake  to  support  them.  We  were  denied,  it  is  true, 
by  the  Common  Council,  but  we  never  looked  on  them  as  acting  in  that 
matter  as  the  representatives  of  the  people.  We  regarded  them  as  indepen- 
dent judges.  And  really  there  is  little  ground  for  surprise  at  their  decisions 
In  the  premises. 

Now  I  will  suppose  a  case.  Let  us  take  that  of  a  bank,  for  it  is,  perhaps, 
as  good  an  illustration  as  I  can  furnish  at  the  moment.  A  citizen  has  a  con- 
troversy with  the  bank,  and  that  controversy  comes  to  a  trial.  The  citizen 
complains  that  he  is  injured  by  the  directors  of  the  bank,  he  makes  out  his 
ease,  but  in  the  end,  he  finds,  contrary  to  all  his  just  anticipations,  and  all  his 
views  of  justice,  that  he  is  defeated,  and  judgment  given  against  him.  Well, 
he  thinks  this  very  hard.  But  he  happens  to  learn  that  the  judge,  before 
whom  the  case  was  tried,  and  the  jury  who  rendered  the  verdict,  are  all 
directors  of  the  bank,  and  his  wonder  at  the  result  of  the  trial  ceases.  Do 
you  see  the  application?  These  gentlemen  after  having  excluded  all  religious 
societies,  made  the  word  religion  a  kind  of  disqualification  in  a  Christiaa 
community  in  the  year  1834 — after  that,  with  the  subtlety  which  proves  that 
they  are  wise  in  their  generation,  they  get  an  act  passed,  by  which  the  Com- 
mon Council  are  made  ex-offlcio  members  of  the  Public  School  Society,  and 
thus  constituted  them  parties  and  judges  in  the  cause.  Let  me  not  be  mis- 
understood. I  do  not  suppose  for  a  moment,  that  any  gentleman  of  that 
Common  Council  would,  at  any  time,  knowingly  deviate  from  the  path  of 
justice  and  duty,  on  account  of  his  official  connection  with  that  Society. 
But  at  the  same  time,  I  do  know,  that  there  is  a  powerful  influence  in  asso- 
ciation, against  which  the  laws  with  great  wisdom  have  guarded  the  judicial 
bench,  when  they  declare  that  a  judge  should  be  of  a  single  mind — elevated 
far  above  all  selfish  considerations — and  whose  interests  could  never  be 
affected  by  the  result  of  any  ofBcial  act  which  he  might  be  called  on  to  exe- 
cute, or  any  sentence  which  it  might  be, his  duty  to  pronounce.  Here,  then, 
were  aldermen  of  different  parties,  elected  from  time  to  time,  and  so  made 
members — part  and  parcel — of  this  Society,  and,  I  ask,  would  it  h.Tve  been 
a  gracious  thing  in  them,  after  having  been  so  honored  with  a  place  in  it,  to 
become  adverse  to  the  interests  of  that  body?  Let  us  bear  in  mind,  too, 
that  there  is  with  most  people  a  regard  for  consequences,  and  no  alderman 
could  imagine  he  would  greatly  benefit  his  interests  by  opposing  a  corpo- 
ration that  has  acquired  nearly  the  whole  control  of  all  the  public  money 
appropi-iated  for  purposes  of  education  in  New  York,  and  having  its  depen- 
dents spread  from  one  end  of  the  city  to  the  other.  I  think  it  would  require 
a  strong  and  elevated  mind-,  an  unusual  amount  of  moral  courage,  to  enable 
uny  man,  so'  situated,  to  oppose  such  a  corporation. 


I  do  not,  then,  admit  the  reasoning  of  Mr.  Ketclium,  for  I  deny  hia 
premises,  that  the  Common  Council  ever  were  "  the  representatives  of  the 
people"  on  this  subject. 

I  will  now  commence  my  review  of  this  speech.  I  read  it  carefully  from 
beginning  to  end,  and  I  was  myself  impressed  with  the  idea  that  it  scarcely 
required  an  answer.  I  was  quite  convinced  of  that,  so  far  as  the  honorable 
Senators  were  concerned,  because  I  knew  that  to  the  minds  of  men  accus- 
tomed to  reasoning  and  to  detect  at  a  glance  where  the  strength  of  a  posi- 
tion rested,  that  speech  must  have  appeared  a  thing  altogether  out  of 
place.  Nevertheless,  it  was  hinted  to  me  that  the  speech  was  not  intended 
for  Senators  alone,  and  the  readiness  with  which  Mr.  Ketchum  could  fur- 
nish the  report  went  considerably  to  strengthen  that  opinion.  It  was  said 
that  though  to  me  the  speech  might  seem  weak,  yet  to  the  generality  of 
readers,  particularly  those  unacquainted  with  the  subject,  it  might  seem' 
very  specious,  and  produce  in  their  minds  the  very  conclusions  opposite  to 
those  which  we  would  wish  established.  On  that  ground  I  have  taken  it 
up,  and  I  must  say  that  with  regard  to  Mr.  Ketchum  himself,  I  have  the 
kindest  possible  feeling ;  and  i^  in  the  course  of  my  remarks,  I  should 
happen  to  speak  in  a  manner  seemingly  disrespectful,  I  beg  it  may  not  be 
considered  as  having  been  so  intended.  Of  the  gentleman  himself,  I  can- 
not say  anything  disrespectful — of  his  speech  I  hope  I  may  be  permitted  to 
say  whatever  the  evidence  may  authorize.  I  mention  his  name  with  per- 
fect freedom,  because  his  name  is  attached  to  the  speecli,  and  because  prin- 
cipally he  is  the  official  organ  of  that  Society,  and  what  he  says  is  already 
endorsed  by  them. 

After  his  introduction,  Mr.  Ketchum  says :  "  This  probably  may  account 
very  sensibly  for  the  fact,  that  in  the  city  of  New  York  the  portion  of  the 
school  fund  allotted  to  her,  was  to  be  distributed  by  these  almoners  of  her 
charity  whom  her  representatives  thought  proper  to  designate.  Now,  I 
ask,  was  there  anything  inconsistent  with  sound  principles  in  this?  Is 
there  anything  in  it  which  violates  the  principle  of  the  largest  lilierty,  and 
the  purest  democracy,  of  which  we  hear  something  in  this  Report?" 

Stop,  Mr.  Ketchum !  I  tell  you  there  is  not  one  word  in  that  whole  Re- 
port against  such  a  state  of  things  as  that  you  represent  to  the  minds  of 
the  Senators  by  making  a  wrong  application.  What  is  represented  as  con- 
trary to  the  principles  of  our  Constitution  was  the  monopoly — the  exclusive 
system  that  has  succeeded  the  former — and  Mr.  Ketchum  is  kind  enough 
to  make  an  anterior  reference  to  the  period  when  all  enjoyed  the  appro- 
priation for  the  purposes  of  education.  I  stop  him  there,  and  say,  that  ho 
makes  a  wrong  application.  He  ought  not  to  prejudice  the  minds  of  Sen- 
ators or  the  community,  by  pretending  that  the  Secretary's  Report  charges 
on  that  state  of  things  any  trenching  on  the  enjoyment  of  the  largest 

Mr.  Ketchum  goes  on  :  "  In  the  city  of  New  York,  as  I  shall  have  occa- 
sion to  show  by  and  by— and  more  or  less  I  suppose  it  is  so  in  all  the  States 
of  Christendom — there  are  voluntary  associations — charitable  associations 
— associations  composed  of  men  incorporated  or  otherwise,  who  are  willing 
to  proffer  their  services  to  feed  the  hungry ;  to  clothe  the  naked  ;  to  visit 
the  destitute,  and  to  see  to  the  application  of  funds  set  apart  for  their  relief. 
Such  men  arc  always  to  be  found  in  large  cities ;  men  of  fortune,  men  of 
leisure,  men  of  benevolence,  who  are  willing  to  associate  together  for  be- 
nevolent objects,  and  who  are  usually  made  the  almoners  of  the  charity  of 

Now,  Mr.  Ketchum,  in  the  whole  of  this,  is  gliding  imperceptibly  to  the 
point  he  wishes  to  reach.  And  what  is  that  point?  It  is  to  fix  on  the  minds 
of  the  Senators  that  as  religious  societies  formerly  took  care  of  their  poor,  and 


as  other  associations  take  care  of  other  objects  of  benevolence,  so  they  were  to 
look  upon  the  Public  School  Society  as  taking  care  of  education.  In  endeavor- 
ing to  etfect  this  conclusion,  his  reasoning  glides  imperceptibly  as  on  a  colored 
surface  which  is  black  at  one  extremity  and  white  at  the  other,  but  in  which 
the  various  shades  are  so  nicely  mingled  that  you  cannot  ascertain  the  point 
where  the  change  of  color  begins,  so  does  the  progress  of  his  sophistry  elude 
observation.  "  Charitable  Associations."  Now,  I  will  examine  Mr.  Ketchum's 
philosophy  here.  I  consider  that  there  is  here  what  may  be  called  a  rhetorical 
fiction.  He  personifies  the  city  of  New  York  and  calls  it  "  she  " — then  he 
takes  her  and  places  her  one  side,  and  places  all  the  religious  societies,  and 
benevolent  societies — -the  Public  School  Society  amongst  the  rest,  and  that  being 
done,  he  says,  the  city  of  New  York  made  them  her  "  almoners."  But  when 
we  take  these  societies  away  where  is  "she"  ?  what  becomes  of  her?  (laughter 
and  cheers.)  This  is  what  I  call  a  rhetorical  fiction.  Mr.  Ketchum  need  not 
pretend  to  say  that  the  city  of  New  York  made  "  almoners."  They  were  self- 
created.  When  you  take  the  religious  societies,  each  having  its  charity  school, 
and  this  society,  which  we  must  not  call  irreligious,  although  it  has  always  de- 
feated its  opponents  by  saying  that  they  profess  religion — these  constitute  the 
people  of  New  York,  and  they  received  the  money  set  apart  for  that  specific 
purpose,  and  in  their  sovereign  power  and  wisdom  they  applied  it  as  they 
thought  proper.  They  managed  it  with  perfect  harmony,  for  I  never  heard  of 
the  occurrence  of  a  dispute  when  each  section  of  the  Community  assumed  the 
management  of  their  own  schools,  and  it  was  on  account  of  a  charge  against 
one  society  of  misappropriating  the  public  money  that  the  controversy  arose. 

Afterwards  referring  to  the  Legislature  by  which  that  state  of  things  was 
changed  to  the  present,  he  says : — •"  Hence,  after  many  discussions  in  the  As- 
sembly chamber,  discussions  at  which  all  the  members  were  invited  to  attend 
— and  almost  all  of  them  did  attend — for  we  had  generally  a  quorum,  although 
it  was  before  a  committee  night  after  night — theCommittee  of  the  Assembly  at 
length  made  a  report  favorable  to  the  prayer  of  the  memorial ;  but  suggesting 
in  that  very  report  whether  even  so  much  as  was  granted  in  the  proposition  re- 
fen-ed  to  was  not  a  violation  of  sound  principle ;  whether,  in  fact,  religious 
societies  ought  to  participate  in  the  enjoyment  of  the  fund  at  all,  because,  by 
such  participation,  the  J&w  might  be  made  to  support  the  doctrine  of  the 
Christian,  and  vice  mrsa,  the  Christian  that  of  the  Jew,  the  Catholic  of  the 
Protestant,  the  Protestant  of  the  Catholic,  and  so  on." 

What  a  splendid  discovery !  The  people  hitherto  living  in  perfect  harmony, 
all  enjoying  that  appropriation  of  public  money — not,  perhaps,  expending  it  in 
the  wisest  manner,  but  at  all  events  without  disturbance  or  dispute.  But  all 
at  once  it  is  discovered  that  because  they  are  religious  societies,  it  would  be  a 
violation  of  sound  principle  to  allow  them  the  public  money !  And  why  ?  Be- 
cause in  that  case  the  money  paid  by  a  Protestant  might  pass  to  the  support 
of  a  Catholic  school — or,  if  you  please,  to  the  school  of  a  Jew— and  that  involved 
a  violation  of  conscience.  I  confess,  however,  I  cannot  see  that,  nor  do  I  think 
any  reflecting  man  can  see  it.  But  what  is  the  fact  respecting  the  turn  of  the 
legislation  in  relation  to  the  Public  School  Society,  called,  at  that  time,  the 
"Free  School  Society?"  Simply  that  because  at  that  Bethel  Baptist  Church 
money  had  been  improperly  appropriated,  occasion  was  taken  not  to  punish 
the  guilty  party,  if  there  was  guilt,  but  those  \vho  had  memorialized  against 
the  abuse  of  public  money,  and  to  disfranchise  every  man  professing  religion, 
because  the  members  of  one  particular  church  had  abused  their  trust !  And  it 
is  suspected  that  all  this  was  not  done  without  the  secret  instrumentality  of 
that  very  Free  School  Society  itself,  which  then,  as  at  the  present  day,  pro- 
fessed to  have  no  religion  at  all.  So  that  in  this  very  Legislature — though  I 
know  that  another  view  of  it  is  perfectly  lawful— we  see  that  the  reasoning  ap- 
proved by  Mr.  Ketchum,  would  go  to  brand  a  stigma  on  the  sacredness  of  re- 


ligion— it  would  lead  to  the  inference  that  because  the  adherents  of  one  roligioua 
sect  have  abused  their  trust  in  the  employment  of  the  public  money,  therefore, 
all  profession  of  religion  should  be  an  everlasting  disqualification !  But  I  pro- 
nounce such  an  inference  unworthy  the  citizens  of  a  land  in  whose  Constitu- 
tion Christianity  is  recognized.  And  I  ask,  where  was  the  usual  penctratior. 
of  Mr.  Ketchum  when  he  employed  such  reasoning  ?  By  the  laws  of  this  State, 
church  property  is  exempted  from  taxation,  and  I  am  surprised  that  gentle- 
men of  such  tender  apprehensions  can  rest  quietly  at  night,  when  they  re- 
flect that  possibly  Protestant  money  is  going  to  make  up  the  deficiency  in 
the  revenue  of  the  State,  caused  by  the  exemption  from  taxation  granted 
to  Catholic  churches !  But  I  see  no  harm  at  all  in  the  state  of  things  by 
which  money  is  thus  transferred.  All  the  churches  are  represented  by  all 
the  people,  and  it  matters  not  an  iota,  if  churches  are  exempted,  the  tax  is 
l^aid  by  the  members  in  another  form. 

So  with  the  Public  School  money.-,  Although  in  the  manipulation  of  the 
money,  it  might  happen  that  the  identical,  dollar  paid  by  a  Protestant  might 
pass  into  the  ti-easury  of  a  Catholic  School,  the  Catholic  dollar  would  go 
back  to  replace  it  in  the  Protestant  School,  it  would  be  in  the  end,  all  the 
same,  for  the  question  is  not  at  all  about  the  identity  of  the  money.  If  the 
taxes  could  be  kept  separate,  and  the  money  paid  by  the  Protestant  go  into 
the  Protestant  box,  and  the  money  paid  by  the  Catholic  go  into  the  Catholic 
box,  sure  enough  they  would  get  their  own  money,  but  it  would  be  all  the 
same  if  no  such  care  had  been  taken.  Here  I  would  refer  to  the  case  of 
chaplains  in  oar  prisons,  etc.,  not  one  of  whom  is  a  Catholic,  but  who  have 
often  received  the  contributions  ot  Catholics, — -have  they  ever  complained 
that  that  was  a  violation  of  the  constitution?  Certainly  not,  and  that  prac- 
tical view  of  the  matter  should  have  taught  the  gentleman  the'futility  of  his 
reasoning — that  if  the  money  of  the  one  sect  went  into  the  hands  of  another 
it  was  all  the  same — it  was  the  money  of  the  people  received  from  them  in 
one  form,  and  returned  to  them  in  another,  allowing  them  in  its  employment 
the  noble  and  g'rand  privilege — of  which  I  trust  they  will  not  allow  them- 
selves to  be  deprived,  no  matter  how  they  exercise  it — of  obeying  the  dic- 
tates of  their  own  free  consciences  (cheers). 

In  the  conrse  of  his  speech  the  gentleman  makes  a  grand  display  of  all  the 
sects  that  were  set  aside  by  the  society.  Then  he  asks  the  Senate  "will  this 
honorable  body  grant  to  Catiiolics  what  was  denied  to  all  these  ?"  But 
there  is  a  difference  here,  and  what  is  it?  There  is  not  on  record,  an  in- 
stance of  a  complaint  on  the  part  of  any  of  these  sects  that  their  rights  of 
conscience  were  invaded.  Episcopalians  never  made  any  such  complaint— 
nor  did  Presbyterians — nor  did  Methodists — nor  did  any  of  the  other  sects, 
— but  it  happened  that  they  had  charity  schools  attached  to  their  churches, 
and  they  tlionght  giving  such  education  as  the  state  required,  they  were  en- 
titled to  their  sliare  of  state  bounty.  But  very  diiferent  was  the  case  of  the 
Catholics.  And  now  suppose  tlie  circumstances  of  the  case  were  reversed, 
and  Catholics  had  the  majority  on  which  the  society  depends,  and  would  era- 
ploy  the  power  conferred  by  it,  in  forcing  on  the  whole  community  Catholic 
books — and  Catholic  versions  of  the  Bible — and  give  the  children  lessons 
about  the  burning  of  Servetus,  and  the  ignorance  of  a  whole  nation  in  sup- 
posing the  machine  for  winnowing  corn,  to  be  an  impious  invention,  and  de- 
nonnoing  these  employing  it  as  guilty  of  a  crime  against  God  who  supplies 
the  zephyrs  and  the  breeze — suppose  that  case,  and  that  the  aggrieved  mi- 
nority complained  and  applied  for  redress,  I  trust  that  on  the  face  of  the 
earth  tliere  would  not  be  found  a  Common  Council  of  Catholics  who  would 
refuse  to  listen  to  so  just  a  prayer  ? 

Mr.  Ket(!hiun  says  further  wlien  speakiog  of  the  action  of  the  Common 
Council  on  this  application,  that  it  had  been  referred  to  a  law  committee,  and 


he  quotes  the  decision  of  that  committee.  "We,  knowing  the  manner  in 
which  onr  former  applications  were  disposed  of,  need  not,  of  course  be  sur- 
prised at  tlie  manner  in  which  this  Report  was  expressed.  To  onr  last  ap- 
plication made  in  the  spring  of  1830, — when  I  was  absent  from  this  cuuutiy 
— to  the  Board  of  Assistant  Aldermen,  the  usual  negative  was  given ;  but 
then  it  is  to  be  oliserved  that  that  Board  was  surrounded  by  tlie  advocates 
of  the  Society,  and  these  things  which  we  have  stated,  and  which  they  have 
since  acknowledged,  were  denied  by  them — and  on  that  denial  was  grounded 
the  refusal  of  our  application.  The  advocates  of  the  society  denied  that 
there  were  any  passages  in  their  books  with  which  he  could  find  fault — 
averi-ed  that  they  contain  nothing  disrespectful  to  our  religion.  But  since 
then,  they  have  been  obliged  to  retract  that,  and  to  acknowledge  repeatedly 
that  in  making  these  assertions  they  were  not  sustained  by  truth — that  there 
were  passages  in  those  books  reflecting  upon  our  faith — that  these  passages 
had  been  taught  to  the  children  for  years,  and  would  have  been'retuined  till 
this  very  day,  had  it  not  been  for  our  detection  and  exposure.  But  it  was 
not  at  all  surprising  that  under  the  infiuence  of  a  sooietj',  stretching  its  gi- 
gantic branches  over  every  quarter  of  the  city,  and  hearing  such  assertions 
from  its  advocates,  the  Board  should  deny  our  claim. — But  let  us  glance  at 
the  conolusion  which  Mr.  Ketchum  draws  from  such  denial — he  says  : — 
"  That  conclusion  was  ratified  by  their  constituents ;  and  I  believe  that 
every  one  of  the  religious  societies,  or  nearly  so,  excepting  the  Roman  Cath- 
olics, acquiesced  in  that  decision.  But  that  society,  year  after  year,  has 
come  before  the  Common  Council  and  renewed  their  request  for  a  separate 
portion  of  the  school  fund.  AVith  the  best  feelings  for  the  applicants,  in  a 
spirit  of  kindness  ;  with  every  disposition  to  do  whatever  could  be  done  for 
them,  year  after  year,  and  without  respect  to  politics,  whether  tlie  one  party 
was  in  the  ascendant,  or  the  other  party  was  in  the  ascendant,  the  Common 
Council  have,  with  almost  entire  unanimity,  disallowed  that  request ;  and  I 
believe  that  never  in  either  Board,  since  the  division  of  that  body  into  two 
Boards,  has  there  been  but  one  dissenting  voice  raised  against  the  ratifica- 
tion of  that  decision.  Now,  if  the  committee  please — who  have  complained? 
The  Roman  Catholics." 

I  repeat  that  I  deny  the  philosophy  of  this  reasoning.  I  deny  that  in  any 
case  that  portion,  at  least,  of  the  community  that  has  petitioned  for  a  reform 
of  this  system,  ever  looked  to  the  Common  Council  as  their  representatives 
on  this  question.  And  another  argument  against  Mr.  Ketchum's  position  is 
that  this  public  council  were  partizans  in  the  case  in  which  they  were  called 
to  deliver  judgment.  And  I  think  that  it  would  he  well  for  that  Public 
School  Society  and  the  Common  Council,  if  the  latter  by  their  election  to 
office  are  to  be  engrafted  into  the  former,  that  the  duty  of  judging  between 
them  and  the  community,  were  delegated  to  disinterested  parties. 

Mr.  Ketchum  goes  on  to  say :  "  No  disrespect  was  intended  them.  The 
Common  Council,  and  every  person  engaged  in  the  discussion  of  the  ques- 
tion on  behalf  of  tlie  Common  School  Society,  took  great  care  to  say,  '  we 
do  not  reject  you  because  you  are  Roman  Catholics;'  and  as  evidence  of 
this  truth,  we  give  you  the  fact  that  we  have  rejected  similar  applications 
from  powerful  protestauts — but  we  reject  your  request -because  we  believe 
that  a  sound  general  principle  will  not  allow  us  to  grant  it."  ^ 

So  there  was  always  a  precaution  observed.  Indeed  I  myself  remarked 
that  before  the  Common  Council.  They  uniformly — with  one  exception — 
said  that  they  did  not  oppose  us  because  we  were  Catholics.  But  Dr. 
Spring  wilh  great  magnanimity  and  candor  neglected  to  take  the  hint,  but 
declared  that  he  was  apprehensive  of  our  faith  gaining  ground.  He  would 
oppose  us  and  preserve  the  society  as  it  was,  even  though  the  rights  of  the 
Catholics  should   be  damaged ;  and  tliat  for  his  part  he  preferred  the 

208  aEjHbisiiop  ritJGHKS. 

religion  of  Voltaire  to  that  of  Fenelon  !  The  sentiment  was  indeed  a  black 
one,  and  it  was  rendered  blacker  by  the  brightness  of  the  candour  with 
which  it  was  uttered. 

Here  again  Mr.  Ketchum  states  what  is  incorrect.  He  says :  "  We  have 
rejected  similar  applications  from  powerful  Protestants." 

I  deny  that.  I  refer  him  to  the  records  of  the  Common  Council,  and  I 
will  venture  to  afBrm  that  he  will  not  find  there  one  "  similar  application." 
And  why  ?  Simply  because  there  Avas  no  ground  for  any  such  application. 
For  although  one  denomination  of  Protestants  may  differ  from  another 
and  may  carry  their  attachments  to  their  respective  dogmas  to  great  length, 
vet  there  is  one  common  ground  on  which  they  all,  so  far  as  I  know, 
without  exception,  meet.  What  is  it  ?  That  the  Bible  alone,  as  understood 
by  each  individual,  is  their  rule  of  faith.  TJiey  could  therefore  unite  on 
their  public  school  question  so  far  as  the  Bible  was  concerned.  _  But  then 
they  require  that  Catholic  children  whose  creed  never  admitted  that 
principle  should  be  taught  that  doctrine.  They  had  not  the  same  reason 
that  we  had  to  go  before  the  Common  Council.  We  felt  that  we  might  as 
well  at  once  give  up  to  them  our  children  and  allow  them  to  educate 
them  as  they  pleased,  as  send  them  to  their  schools.  I  deny  then  the  state- 
ment "that  similar  applications  were  made." 

He  proceeds :  "  I  say  that  the  Corporation  has  been  desirous,  so  far  as 
that  body  possibly  could,  so  far  as  they  felt  themselves  at  liberty,  consist- 
ently with  the  maintenance  of  a  sound  general  principle,  to  accommodate 
these  parties.  They  have  granted  a  privilege  out  of  this  fund  to  the 
Roman  Catholic  denomination,  which  has  not  been  granted  to  any  other. 
The  Sisters  of  Charity,  so  called,  under  direction  of  the  Roman  Catholic 
Church,  and  connected  with  it,  (I  believe  I  am  right — if  not  I  should  be 
happy  to  be  corrected,)  established  a  most  benevolent  institution  in  the 
city  of  New  York,  called  the  Orphan's  Asylum — the  Roman  Catholic 
Orjjhan's  Asylum.  They  took  into  this  institution  poor  and  di  stitute 
orphans.  They  fed  and  clothed  them  most  meritoriously — and  they  thus 
relieved  the  city  of  New  York  of  the  maintenance  of  many  who  would 
otherwise,  probably,  have  been  a  charge  upon  it.  After  long  discussion, 
and  with  some  hesitancy,  yet  overcome  by  the  desire  to  oblige,  and  aware 
of  the  limitation  arising  from  the  very  nature  of  that  institution,  the 
Corporation  did  permit  the  Catholic  Orphan  Asylum  to  receive  money  from 
this  fund  ;  and  during  the  last  year  it  received  some  $1,463  for  the  educa- 
tion of  about  one  hundred  and  sixty-five  children — in  common  with  the 
institution  for  the  blind,  and  the  deaf  and  the  dumb,  and  those  other  bene- 
volent and  Christian  institutions  which  are  altogether  of  a  Catholic  char- 
acter in  the  most  comprehensive  acceptation  of  that  term — as  they  are 
under  no  sectarian  influence  or  government." 

And  pray  what  sort  of  an  institution  is  the  Protestant  Orphan  Asylum  ? 
Is  religion  not  taught  there?  And  yet  Mr. Ketchum  singles  out  the  Catho- 
lic Orphan  Asylum  and  speaks  of  the  favor  conferred  on  it,  in  order  to  show 
the  liberality  of  the  Common  Council.  We  are,  indeed,  grateful  to  that 
body  for  having  placed  ours  on  the  same  footing  with  other  institutions .  of 
a  kindred  character.  But  the  Common  Council  have  granted  money  to  the 
Protestant  Half-Orphan  Asylum,  and  denied  an  application  upon  a  similar 
grant  to  the  Catholic.  How  can  Mr.  Ketchum  assert  that  a  ''  privilege  " 
has  been  granted  to  us  exclusively  ?  In  reference  to  our  last  application 
Mr.  Ketchum  proceeds : — 

"  The  subject,  I  repeat,  underwent  a  very  full  and  free  discussion  ;  and,  after  that 
had  terminated,  the  Board  of  Aldermen  gravely  considered  and  discussed  the  subject; 
and,  at  length,  after  some  delay,  came  to  the  conclusion  that  they  would  go  and  visit 
the  schools.    Some  of  the  members  of  the  Board  of  Public  Schools,  feeling  sensibly 


Mive  on  the  subject,  expressed  to  me  an  apprehension  that  this  was  a  mere  erasion,  and 
they  feared  that  the  question  had  now  become  mingled  with  politics.     But  I  said,  wait, 

fentlemen  ;  let  them  go  and  see  your  schools — it  is  a  natural  desire— they  ought  to  go. 
t  is  a  great  and  delicate  question,  and  they  ought  to  be  acquainted  with  it  in  all  its  de- 
tails. They  went  and  visited  the  Public  Schools,  and  the  Roman  Catholic  Schools,  and 
they  incorporated  the  result  of  their  deliberations  in  a  report  which  I  have  befnre  me, 
and  from  which  I  shall  quote  by  and  by.  It  is  drawn  up  with  great  ability,  and  the  de- 
cision was,  with  but  one  dissenting  voice,  that  the  prayer  of  the  petition'should  be  re- 
jected ;  and  it  was  rejected." 

On  this  I  remark  in  reference  to  what  I  have,  I  believe,  already  referred 
to,  that  there  has  been  always  a  panacea  for  every  evil — the  appointment 
of  a  committee  to  visit  the  schools.  Why  this  is  one  of  the  easiest  things 
ill  the  world  ?  A  little  training — a  little  arrangement — a  judicious  wink  to 
Ihe  teachers — will  prepare  every  thing  so  that  it  will  be  very  hard  if  a 
pleasing  exhibition  could  not  be  got  up  in  any  one  of  those  schools  for  one 
hour,  on  any  day  out  of  the  three  liundred  and  sixty-five  in  the  year.  But 
this  has  been  the  invariable  remedy — no  looking  at  the  wounds  which  the 
system  was  from  year  to  year,  and  from  day  to  day,  inflicting  on  less 
favored  portions  of  the  community — no  visit  to  the  back  streets  and  miser- 
able lanes  of  this  city,  in  which  so  large  a  proportion  of  its  future  inhabit- 
ants are  grovelling  in  exposure  to  vice  and  degradation.  Nothing  of  that 
■was  thought  of.  But  the  schools  enriched  by  the  expenditure  of  more  than 
a  million  of  money  were  inspected,  and  the  gratified  and  approving  visitors 
returned  to  the  Common  Council  to  make  their  report  that  it  was  an  excel- 
lent system,  perfect  in  its  details,  and  admirable  in  its  working,  and  it  was 
only  the  absurd  bigotry  and  extreme  ignorance  of  the  Catholics  that  j)re- 
vented  them  from  reaping  its  benefits ! 

"When  he  compares  with  all  this,  the  state  of  our  humble  schools.  Well, 
I  will  not  pretend  to  say  that  the  Catholic  schools  were  in  the  best  order. 
But  here  I  remark  that  whilst  at  every  stagehand  step  of  the  progress  of 
this  question,  I  have  been  obliged  to  controvert  false  statements,  I  can 
challenge  them  to  point  to  a  single  instance  in  which  they  could  dispute 
the  truth  of  any  of-  our  documents.  And  now  I  will  give  a  passing  notice 
to  that  visit  to  the  Catholic  schools.  Hear  this  statement.  This  committee 

"We  also  visited  three  of  the  schools  established  by  the  petitioners,  and  we  found 
them  as  represented,  lamentably  deficient  in  accommodations,  and  supplies  of  books 
and  teachers ;  the  rooms  were  excessively  crowded,  and  poorly  ventilated,  the  books 
much  worn,  as  well  as  deficient  in  numbers,  and  the  teachers  not  sufficiently  numerous ; 
yet,  with  all  these  disadvantages,  though  not  able  to  compete  successfully  with  the 
Public  Schools,  they  exhibited  a  progress  which  was  truly  creditable ;  and  with  ine 
same  means  at  their  disposal,  they  would  doubtless  soon  be  able,  under  suitable  direc- 
tion, greatly  to  improve  their  condition." 

Such  is  their  testimony. 

And  now  shall  I  pass  over  this  opportunity  of  making  a  comparison  ? 
When  questioned  before  the  Senate,  the  Society  stated  that  they  could  not  get 
the  children  to  come,  and  here  are  our  schools  crowded  to  excess  ?  I  can 
show  you  in  a  room  not  ranch  larger  than  the  square  of  the  distance  between 
two  of  the  columns  supporting  the  gallery  of  this  building  in  which  we  are 
now  assembled,  upwards  of  two  hundred  children  crowded  together !  Yet 
the  Public  School  Society  are  obliged  to  pay  $1,000  a  year  of  public  money 
to  visitors  for  the  purpose  of  gathering  children  to  their  schools.  For  the 
fact  came  out  in  the  course  of  the  investigation  that  they  paid  tliat  sum 
yearly  to  tract  distributors  for  the  purpose  I  have  stated,  whilst  we  in  our 
poverty  could  not  find  room  or  books  or  teachers  for  the  multitudes  of  chil- 
dren that  thronged  upon  us,  and  whom  this  exclusive  system  consigns  to » 
degradation  and  ignorance  and  vice  unless  something  he  done  for  them  by 
others !  (Cheers.) 


Snoh  is  the  testimony  of  that  very  committee.  And  yet  the  decision  to 
which  they  came  is  quoted  by  Mr.  Ketchum  as  proof  that  "  a  great  princi- 
ple,"— of  which  no  definition  however  is  given  from  the  beginning  to  the 
end  of  his  speech, — prevented  them  from  granting  our  petition.  Well,  I 
have  called  your  attention  already  and  would  do  so  again  to  a  point  that 
shows  as  clear  as  noon-day  that  this  denial  was  not  benevolent  towards  us,  nor 
in  accordance  with  equal-handed  justice.  They  had  opposed  ns  as  a  sect— 
as  being  Catholics.  The  Secretary  of  State,  however — a  man  whose  integ- 
rity of  character — ^legal  knowledge — and  profound  and  statesmanlike  views, 
have  elevated  him  to  the  highest  rank  "in  the  community, — placed  the  ques- 
tion on  entirely  differenL  grounds.  Mr.  Ketchum  in  the  last  sentence  of  his 
•peech  before  the  Common  Council  declared  that  to  the  Public  School  So- 
ciety the  discharge  of  their  duties  were  rather  a  burthen,  which  nothing  but 
the  extreme  benevolence  of  their  nature  had  prompted  them  to  assume,  and 
unless  they  were  saved  from  this  continued  agitation  they  would  throw  it  off. 
Well,  Mr.  Spencer  excludes  all  those  objectionable  features  and  places  the 
question  on  a  broad  basis,  entirely  removed  from  all  sectarianism,  and  then 
where  are  those  benevolent  gentlemen  who  were  burthened  with  their 
charge  —  these  "  humble  almoners  "  of  the  public  bounty  ?  At  Albany, 
ready  for  a  new  fight  I  Not  for  their  schools,  but  to  oppose  the  Secretary, 
for  Mr.  Spencer  only  wishes  to  make  education  like  the  air  we  breathe,  the 
land  we  live  in  ;  like  other  departments  of  human  industry  and  enterprise, 
free !  He  would  not  hold  the  balance  so  as  to  afford  the  least  advantage  to 
any  paky,  but  would  make  all  equal,  and  secure  to  them  the  enjoyment  of 
the  rights  established  by  the  constitution  of  the  country,  and  who  opposed 
him  ?  The  Public  School  Society.  Their  interests  were  not  invaded,  but 
they  could  not  admit  the  principle  that  we  were  to  receive  education  con- 
sistently with  the  laws  of  the  State  ?  Why  ?  You  will  find  that  in  the 
course  of  Mr.  Ketchum's  speech,  he  says  the  Public  School  Society  could 
not  stand  one  day  if  education  were  made  free !  If  the  monopoly  which 
they  have  wielded  for  sixteen  years  should  be  touched  by  the  little  finger  of 
free  trade  they  would  perish.  "  They  cannot  live  a  day."  And,  gentlemen, 
if  they  cannot  live  one  day  on  the  principles  of  justice  and  freedom,  then  I 
say  that  half-a-day's  existence  is  quite  enough  for  their  exclusive  system. 

We  have  seen  that  Mr.  Ketchum  has  introduced  the  committee  to  the 
schools,  and  now  he  comes  to  the  point.  "Who,  then,  complain  of  the 
operations  of  this  system?  Our  fellow-citizens,  the  Roman  Catholics. 
Failing  to  get  from  the  hands  of  a  body  thus  constituted,  the  redress  for 
the  grievance  which  they  complained  of,  they  come  here  and  ask  it  of  yon. 
I  say  they  come  here,  because  I  will  presently  show  you  from  their  memo- 
rials, that  none  lut  they  come  here." 

He  has  brought  it  round  to  that,  and  he  thinks  if  that  be  established  the 
same  prejudices — the  same  means  that  were  employed  to  defeat  us  in  New 
York  would  be  equally  efficacious  at  Albany.  He  says :  "  Failing  to  ac- 
complish their  purpose  through  the  Common  Council  of  the  City  of  New 
York,  they  come  and  ask  it  here.  Failing  in  their  application  to  a  body  of 
representatives,  to  whom  they  have  applied  year  after  year,  and  who  repre- 
sent a  population  in  which  is  intermingled  a  greater  mass  of  Roman.  Catho- 
lic voters  than  in  any  other  district  of  the  State  of  New  York." 

See  the  advantage  he  takes  of  our  known  forbearance,  and  their  activity 
Because  we,  with  honorable  motives  that  should  have  been  better  appre- 
ciated, abstain  from  making  this  a  political  one.  But  they  did  make  it 
such  a  question,  and  endeavored  to  deter  all  public  men  from  rendering 
justice  to  the  oppressed  Catholics.  Now  I  am  no  politician — I  belong  to 
no  party — and  I  can  also,  perhaps,  speak  with  the  greater  freedom,  because 
we  have  highminded  friends  and  opponents  too,  amongst  both  political 


parties,  and  I  can,  perhaps,  give  a  satisfactory  answer  to  Mr.  Ketclium'g 
allusion  to  "  voters."  Alter  the  election  of  the  Governor,  the  papers  in  the 
views  of  this  societj'  referred  to  it  as  a  warning,  and  not  only  so,  but  indi- 
viduals here  wrote  to  the  Governor  in  terms  of  reproach  against  the  Cath- 
olics and  the  Irish  for  not  having  been  more  grateful  to  him.  They  taunted 
him  with  it.  And  how  is  that  to  be  answered  ?  I  should  be  sorry  that 
ever  the  Irish  .should  be  ungrateful,  under  any  circumstances,  or  ever  forget 
a  friend ;  and  especially  at  a  time  when  the  high  and  noble  principles  of 
justice  and  equality  laid  down  by  the  fathers  of  this  country  seem  to  be 
passing  into  rapid  oblivion,  if  a  public  man  stands  up  for  the  riglits  of  even 
the  Immblest  portion  of  the  community,  he  is  entitled  to  the  gratitude  and 
esteem  of  every  man  who  loves  his  country.  Not  that  the  Governor  con- 
ferred on  us  any  peculiar  favor — I  disclaim  that — he  never  asked  any  thing 
for  us  but  what  we  conceived  our  right.  But  still  he  was  taunted  with 
references  to  the  ingratitude  of  the  Irish,  it  was  said  "  There  is  what  you 
got  by  advocating  the  cause  of  the  Irish."  That  shows  whether  we  made 
our  question  a  political  one — and  I  am  glad,  in  one  sense,  that  the  Irish  did 
not  vary  from  the  principles  in  politics  to  which  they  had  been  in  the 
habit  of  attaching  themselves,  because  that  demonstrates  that  whatever 
may  be  the  opinion  of  calculating  politicians  respecting  the  Irish,  that 
portion  of  the  community  have  perhaps,  after  all  an  integrity  of  char- 
acter and  purity  of  principle  which  is  not  unfrequently  found  wanting 
amongst  more  elevated  classes  of  both  political  parties.  It  was  discovered 
then  that  the  Irish  would  not  abandon  their  principles  through  selfish 
motives.  But  now  let  me  ask  what  was  the  case  on  the  other  side?  Many 
of  them  turned  directly  round,  abandoning  all  their  old  political  associa- 
tions and  friends,  in  order  to  let  Governor  Seward  know  how  much  he  had 
dared  when  he  declared  for  justice  and  equal  rights  to  all  (cheers). 

Such  was  the  case,  and  our  opponents  cannot  deny  it.  Mr.  Ketchum 
then  is  unfortunate  in  his  allusions.  He  ought  not — if  he  had  what  I  shall 
not  now  mention^f  he  had  presence  of  mind,  I  will  say,  he  ought  not  to 
have  alluded  to  that  matter  at  all,  because  it  has  brought  up  the  proofs  of 
what  was  done  by  his  own  clients,  while  our  vindication  is  triumphantly 
effected.  We  have  thus  been  enabled  to  refute  all  the  charges  urged  against 
us  from  the  pulpits  and  religious  presses  at  the  disposition  of  the  Society, 
that  we  made  a  political  question  of  it,  and  so  forth.  They  did ; — but  we 
did  not. 

Gentlemen,  I  have  dwelt  longer  on  some  topics  than  I  intended,  and  have 
made  less  progress  in  my  review  of  this  speech  than  I  anticipated.  On  to- 
morrow evening  I  will  proceed  with  my  remarks.  [Loud  and  long-con- 
tinued applause.] 
'  [On  Friday  evening  the  Bishop  attended  according  to  his  intimation  at 
Carroll  Hall,  where,  notwithstanding  the  extreme  inclemency  of  the  wea 
ther,  a  very  considerable  audience  was  assembled.  It  was,  however,  deem 
ed  e?;pedient  to  adjourn 'the  meeting  till  the  following  Monday.] 

MONDAY  EVENING,  Jitne  31st. 

On  Monday  evening  an  immense  number  of  persons  assembled  to  hear 
the  conclusion  of  the  Right  Rev.  Prelate's  Speech.  The  aisles  and  galleries 
of  the  large  hall  in  which  the  audience  congregated,  were  densely  crowded, 
and  in  the  body  of  the  house  it  was  impossible  to  obtain  a  seat  for  a  con- 
siderable time  before  the  meeting  was  organized.    Amongst  those  present 


we  noticed  the  Lieutenant  Governor  of  the  State,  and  many  distinguished 

Shortly  before  8  o'clock,  Thomas  O'Connor,  Esq.,  was  called  to  the  chair 
amid  the  acclamations  of  the  meeting,  and  after  the  minutes  of  the  former 
lueetings  had  been  read  by  B.  O'Connor,  Esq.,  the  Secretaiy,  the  Right 
ReT.  Bishop  HtiGHBS  rose  and  was  received  with  deafening  applause.  On 
its  subsidence  he  proceeded  as  follows  : 

Mr.  Chairman  and  Gentlemen, — I  have  had  occasion  already  to  observe 
that  the  question  which  we  are  now  discussing,  has  passed,  or  at  least  is 
now  passing  through  the  second  stage  of  its  progress.  In  the  first  stage 
we  had  to  apply  to  the  city  authorities,  and  we  were  obliged  by  the  circum- 
stances of  the  case,  and  for  reasons  that  I  have  already  mentioned,  to  apply 
in  a  character  which  we  did  not  desire,  but  which  was  forced  upon  us  by 
circumstances,  over  which  we  had  no  control.  The  issue  of  that  applica- 
tion is  known.  Then  we  laid  our  grievances  before  the  Legislature  of  the 
State,  and  the  Secretary  of  State  to  whom  the  question  had  been  referred, 
placed  it  upon  grounds,  altogether  different  from  those  on  which  it  had 
hitherto  been  considered.  Consequently  it  was  necessary  for  me  in  review- 
ing Mr.  Ketchum's  speech,  to  consider  it  under  two  heads.  And  hitherto 
my  remarks  on  it  have  applied  to  the  question  under  the  circumstances 
in  which  it  was,  previous  to  its  reference  to  the  Legislature  of  the  State. 
We  have  now  however  to  consider  it  on  the  ground  on  which  it  has  been 
placed,  in  the  able,  and  eloquent,  and  liberal  report  of  the  Honorable  Mr. 
Spencer.  And  I  cannot  avoid  observing  in  the  first  place,  that  taking  into 
account,  the  principles  of  equality  and  of  justice  that  pervade  that  docu- 
ment, I  did  conceive  that  the  Public  School  Society  could  not  have  found 
any  objections  againstit.  For  you  will  recollect  that  Mr.  Spencer  removes 
entirely  the  objections  urged  before  the  Common  Council  against  the 
recognition  of  our  claims.  These  objections  were  grounded  on  the  principle 
that  no  sect  or  religious  denomination  had  anything  to  do  with  the  money 
appropriated  for  the  purpose  of  education.  The  Secretary  has  completely 
obviated  that  objection.  He  has  regarded  the  petitioners  in  their  civil 
capacity.  He  has  exhibited  the  broad  and  general  grounds  on  which  every 
public  institution  in  this  country  is  conducted,  but  we  find  these  gentlemen, 
nevertheless,  as  zealous,  and  their  advocates  as  eloquent  against  Mr. 
Secretary  Spencer,  as  they  had  been  against  us.  There  can  be  no  charge 
now  that  a  recognition  of  our  claims  would  favor  sectarianism — a  union  of 
Church  and  State.  All  that  has  disappeared,  and  with  it  we  had  hoped 
would  have  disappeared  the  opposition  to  our  claims. 

I  will  now  follow  Mr.  Ketchum  in  his  arguments  before  the  Senate.  And 
first  of  all  I  would  direct  your  attention  to  the  number  of  times  in  which 
he  repeats  that  the  petitioners  are  Catholics.  He  twists  and  turns  that  in 
a  variety  of  ways,  in  order  to  convince  the  Senators  that  though  we  applied 
in  the  character  of  citizens,  that  advantage  was  to  be  taken  away  from  us, 
and  we  were  to  be  clothed  before  that  honorable  body  with  our  religious 
character  by  the  hand  of  Mr.  Ketchum !  I  should  have  less  confidenee  in 
the  stability  of  this  government — less  afifection  for  its  constituted  author- 
ities, if  I  thought  that  such  a  circumstance  could  militate  against  us  in  the 
minds  of  those  gentlemen,  who  have  been  elevated  by  the  suffrages  of  the 
people  to  the  guardianship  of  equal  rights.  (Cheers.)  I  conceive,  therefore, 
that  Mr.  Ketchum  has  mistaken  the  character  of  that  assembly — that  he 
has  exerted  himself  in  vain  to  fix  on  as  the  epithet  of  Roman  Catholics, 
when  we  appeared  in  the  character  of  citizens,  and  when  our  light  in 
worship  God  according  to  the  dictates  of  our  conscience  had  been  already 


a  priori  recognized  by  the  constitution  of  the  country.  And  I  ask,  is  there 
any  crime  in  Ijeing  a  Roman  Catholic  ?  Is  there  any  advantage  to  be 
gained  in  bringing  that  against  us?  Is  there  anything  in  the  liistory  of 
the  country  -wliich  could  justify  the  hope  of  prejudicing  the  minds  of 
senators  by  such  lin  allusion  !  No.  In  the  days  when  men  stood  side  by 
side  and  shoulder  to  shoulder,  and  blood  touched  blood  in  the  battle  strife, 
and  with  their  brave  swords  they  won  the  freedom  of  their  country,  was  it 
asked  who  is  a  Catholic  or  who  is  a  Protestant  ?  (Loud  Cheers.)  Had  Mr. 
Ketchum  forgotten  the  names  and  deeds  of  Kosciusko,  of  Pulaski,  or 
LaFayetto,  and  the  Catholic  Soldiers  of  Catholic  France  ?  Was  there  any- 
thing said  against  that  religion  by  the  fathers  of  our  country  when  they 
laid  the  foundation  of  the  liberties  we  now  enjoy  ?  "Was  there  anysuch 
charge  against  Charles  Carroll  when  he  came  and  signed  that  glorious 
declaration,  risking  more  than  all  the  other  signers  together  ?  No.  Nor 
have  we  any  cause  to  be  ashamed  of  our  religion,  and  God  forbid  we  ever 
should !_  I  throw  back,  then,  that  maneuvre  of  Mr.  Ketchum,  and  I  tell 
him  this  is  not  the  country  whose  constitution  makes  apparent  to  the 
world,  that  to  be  a  Roman  Catholic  involves  a  deprivation  of  the  rights 
and  privileges  of  citizenship. 
^  Last  year  a  petition  was  presented  to  the  Senate,  signed  by  Catholics 
alone — this  year  the  petition  had  other  signatures.  True,  the  petitioners 
were  generally  Catholics,  but  others  signed  it  too,  and  I  hope  and  believe 
that  they  thought  they  asked  but  for  justice.  However,  Mr.  Ketchum,  in 
order  to  accomplish  his  purpose,  takes  up  the  petition  presented  last  year, 
and  taunts  the  Secretary  as  if  he  were  guilty  of  artifice  in  making  it  appear 
that  the  members  of  other  religious  denominations  had  joined  in  oui 
petition.  He  says :  "  Probably,  (continued  Mr.  Ketchum,)  that  circum- 
stance was  discovered  by  the  Secretary's  sagacity,  between  1840  and  1841." 
What  does  he  mean  by  that  allusion,  except  to  remind  the  Secretary  that 
it  was  by  prejudicing  the  public  mind,  by  misrepresentations,  that  certain 
partizans  succeeded  in  diminishing  the  vote  for  his  Excellency  the  Gov- 
ernor ?  If  Mr.  Ketchum  does  not  intend  that  by  this  delicate  hint,  I  should 
like  to  know  what  he  does  mean.  He  then  affects  to  take  up  the  objections : 
"  Cue  of  the  complaints  is  that  the  people  are  not  represented  in  this  Public 
School  Society ;  that  here  is  an  agency  used  for  a  great  public  purpose 
which  the  people  do  not  directly  choose ;  and  they  complain  of  the  Public 
School  Society  being  a  close  corporation." 

Certainly  all  these  are  grounds  of  complaint,  and  all  these  are  so  clearly 
set  forth  in  the  Report  of  the  Secretary,  that  you  have  but  to  read  that 
document  to^see  that  Mr.  Ketchum  cannot  shake  one  solitary  position  of 
that  honorable  gentleman.  Is  not  the  Public  School  Society  a  close  cor- 
poration? And  is  not  Mr.  Secretary  Spencer's  Report  calculated  to  place 
it  on  the  same  basis  on  which  all  our  free  public  institutions  are  founded  ? 
Is  the  Secretary  not  a  Reformer,  then,  in  reference  to  that  Society  ?  He 
does  here  precisely  what  Lord  John  Russell  attempts  to  do  in  England, 
when  he  endeavors  to  break  down  the  monopoly  of  the  corn  laws  and  to 
make  bread  cheap.  Mr.  Spencer  wishes  to  break  down  the  monopoly  of 
education,  and  to  make-voting  and  education,  the  bread  of  knowledge, 
cheap.  That  is  to  say,  that  the  same  people  who  are  supposed  to  be  capa- 
ble of  choosing  a  Sheriff,  or  a  Governor,  or  a  President,  without  paying  for 
the  privilege,  should  also  have  the  right  of  choosing  the  teachers  of  their 
children,  without  paying  $10  for  it.  (Cheers.)  Mr.  Ketchum  passes  over 
that  very  lightly.  That  is  a  point  not  to  be  seriously  dwelt  upon,  and  he 
glides  into  the  old  charge  prepared  before  the  Common  Council,  and  takes 
up  the  old  objections,  although  not  one  of  them  was  presented  in  the  peti- 
tion beforo  the  Senate.    Keeping  always  before  the  mind  of  the  Senators 


that  we  are  Catholics,  he  afifects  to  take  up  these  objections,  and  says : 
"  Now,  I  wish  to  call  the  attention  of  the  Committee  to  the  fact  now  to  be 
stated.  There  is  no  complaint  in  these  memorials,  nor  will  you  hear  any 
from  any  source,  that  the  Public  School  Society  does  not  furnish  to  all  the 
chiklreu  who  attend  their  schools  a  good  literary  education." 

Let  me  caution  Mr.  Ketchum  not  to  be  so  fast,  and  I  will  give  him  _  my 
reasons.  From  the  manner  in  which  the  examinations  are  conducted,  it  is 
the  easiest  thing  in  the  world  to  have  all  ready  prepared  for  the  day  of 
visitation ;  when  the  examiners  present  themselves,  pet  classes  are  arranged, 
and  in  them  pet  pupils,  who  will  perform  their  part  admirably  well.  It  is 
easy  to  have  all  this  array,  and  so  it  is  to  be  regarded  rather  as  an  exhibi- 
tion than  an  examination.  But,  if  they  desire  their  examinations  to  create 
universal  confidence,  let  them  have  them  as  they  are  conducted  in  European 
Universities,  where  the  pupils  stand  forward,  and  any  person  who  chooses 
examines  them,  when  not  the  choice  and  prepared  pupils  are  taken,  but  the 
subjects  of  examination  are  selected  indiscriminately  from  the  classes.  Let 
such  a  method  be  adopted  here,  and  I  will  venture  to  say  that  Mr.  Ketchum 
will  not  have  anything  to  boast  of  over  other  schools.  (Cheers.)  I  do  not, 
however,  blame  the  visitors  for  not  finding  fault  with  the  external  manage- 
ment of  these  schools.  I  think  it  excellent ;  and  the  best  proof  of  the  sin- 
cerity of  that  opinion  was  afforded  in  our  willingness  to  adopt,  and  place 
the  superintendence  of  our  schools  in  the  hands  of  these  very  gentlemen. 
But  Mr.  Ketchum  goes  on : 

"  The  Roman  Catholics  complain,  in  the  first  place,  that  they  cannot  conscientiously 
send  their  children  to  the  Public  Schools,  because  we  do  not  give  religious  instruction 
in  a  definite  form,  and  of  a  decided  and  definite  character.  They  complain,  in  the  sec- 
ond place,  that  the  school  books  in  common  use  in  the  Society,  contain  passages  reflect- 
ing upon  the  Roman  Catholic  Church.  And  they  complain,  in  the  third  place,  that  we 
use  the  Bible  without  note  or  comment — that  the  school  is  opened  in  the  morning  by 
calling  the  children  to  order  and  reading  a  chapter  in  the  Bible, — our  common  version. 
These  are  the  three  grounds  on  which  they  base  their  conscientious  scruples." 

Now  it  is  a  fact  that  we  do  not  complain  of  any  one  of  these  things  in  our 
petition  to  the  Senate.  One  of  these  complaints  was  expressed  in  the  peti- 
tion to  the  Common  Council,  and  I  have  already  explained  the  reasons  of 
that  presentation.  But  in  the  petition  to  the  Senate,  we  said  in  general 
terms,  that  the  conscientious  scruples  of  a  large  portibn  of  our  fellow-citizens 
were  violated  by  the  system  pursued  in  these  schools.  I  will,  however, 
take  up  these  objections  in  order. 

Mr.  Ketchum  says  that  we  complain,  in  the  first  place,  that  we  cannot 
send  our  children  to  the  schools  of  the  Public  School  S'ociety  "because 
religion  is  not  tliere  taught  of  a  decided  and  definite  character."  Mr.  Ketchum 
certainly  has  not  stated  that  objection  correctly,  for  I  defy  him  to  find  such 
words  in  our  petition.  "We  complained  in  general  against  these  schools,  that 
,by  divorcing  religion  and  literature,  they  endangered  the  best  interests  of 
cliildri<n  who  were  to  grow  up  to  be  men,  and  who,  to  he  useful  members  of 
the  community,  should  have  their  minds  imbued  with  correct  principles,  and 
could  not  be  so  without  being  made  acquainted  with  some  religious  princi- 
ples. But  we  never  complained  that  tliey  did  not  give  "  definite  religions 
instruction."  Far  from  it,  and  when  Mr.  Ketchum  asserted  that  we  did,  I 
am  sorry  to  say  that  he  asserted  what  he  must  or  might  have  known  to  be 
untrue.  And  how  do  I  prove  it?  In  our  propositions  to  the  Committee  of 
the  Common  Council,  when  they  had  gone  through  with  their  ceremony  of 
visiting  the  schools,  and  the  Society  had  offered  their  propositions,  the  very 
last  article  of  our  proposal  was  in  these  words : — "  But  nothing  of  their  'i.  e. 
Catholic)  dogmas,  nothing  against  the  creed  of  any  other  religious  denomina- 
tion, shall  be  introduced."    Mr.  Ketchum  saw  that,  and  I  ask  him,  how  could 


he  undortake  to  make  an  argument  by  substituting  language  entirely  difTer- 
ent  from  ours,  and  presenting  it  as  our  objection?  How  could  he  say  that 
we  lound  fault  with  the  Public  School  Society  for  not  teaching  religion  in  a 
"  definite  form,"  when  they  always  disclaimed  the  right  to  teach  it  at  all, 
and  considered  it  a  crime  for  any  denomination  to  ask  for  it  ?  This  is  what 
I  call  substitution — ^invention — a  course  unworthy  of  Mr.  Ketchum, — of  his 
profession,  and  of  that  society  of  which  he  was  the  organ. 

I  am  well  aware  that  to  a  hasty  reader  Mr.  Ketohum's  speech  will  appear 
very  logical  indeed.  But  I  have  at  the  same  time  to  observe,  that  while  he 
reasons  logically,  by  drawing  correct  inferences  from  Ids  promises,  he 
has  taken  care  previously  to  change  the  premises,  and  instead  of  taking 
our  principle  as  submitted  by  us,  he  gradually  shifts  it — ^preserving,  how- 
ever, enough  to  deceive  a  cursory  reader-^until  he  substitutes  one  entirely 
different,  from  which  he  reasons  very  logically,  of  course.  Let  us  sup- 
pose Mr.  Ketchum  a  professor  of  law  in  some  university — for  I  have  no 
doubt  he  could  fill  such  a  cliair,  and  adorn  it  too,  if  he  would — and  im- 
agine him  addressing  a  class  of  studentss  H^  says,  "Gentlemen,  one  of  the 
most  important  things  in  our  profession  is  to  know  how  to  conduct  an  argu- 
ment, wliicli  you  must  always  do  with  logical  precision.  And  to  eflFect  this 
you  are  to  follow  this  excellent  rule : — if  your  facts  sustain  your  conclusions, 
well;  if  not,  you  must  find  other  facts  that  will!"  (Laughter  and  loud 
cheers.)  "  The  principle  of  this  rule  I  call  the  principle  of  substitution,  and 
an  admirable  principle  it  is,  but  you  must  be  cautious  how  you  use  it,  espe- 
cially before  a  judge  and  jury.  But  if  it  is  before  a  public,  which  reads  fast 
— for  there  is  a  great  deal  to  be  read — you  will  find  it  work  very  well. 
Recollect  then,  gentlemen,  this  great  principle —  'substitute  '  in  your  reason- 
ing!" (Loud  laughter.) 

In  such  a  way  we  might  imagine  Mr.  Ketchum  addressing  his  students 
And  you  will  find  that  few  reason  illogically.  Even  the  inmates  of  a  Lunatic 
Asylum  reason  very  logically.  One  of  them  perhaps,  imagines  himself  a 
clock,  he  says,  "stand  off,  don't  shake  me — I  am  obliged  to  keep  time." 
That  is  logical  reasoning.  The  only  mistake  is  that  he  "substitutes"  a  clock 
for  a  living  creature — and  reasoning  from  this  substitution  he  draws  the  con- 
clusions admirably.     So  it  is  with  Mr.  Ketchum.     (Laughter  and  cheers.) 

We  did  not,  I  tell  Mr.  Ketchum,  ask  the  Public  School  Society  to  teach 
religion  in  any  definite  form.  We  never  complained  of  their  not  teaching 
it.  We  never  did  ask  such  an  unreasonable  thing  from  men  who  made  it  a 
crime  for  religious  societies  to  have  any  thing  to  do  with  the  public  money. 

He  then  states  another  objection : — "  that  the  books  used  in  the  schools 
contain  passages  reflecting  on  the  Catholic  Church."  That  is  true ;  and  he 
says  in  the  third  place  that  we  object  that  "  the  Protestant  version  of  the 
Bible  is  used,  that  the  schools  are  opened  by  calling  the  children  to  order, 
and  reading  a  passage  from  that  Bible."  Not  a  word  of  that  in  our  petition. 
That  is  "  substitution"  again — removing  the  objections  presented  by  us,  and 
substituting  others,  which  might,  as  he  supposed,  lead  to  the  denial  of  our 
claims  on  the  ground  that  we  object  unreasonably. 

Mr.  Ketchum  takes  up  the  objection,  and  in  order  to  show  how  unreason- 
able' that  was,  he  submits  the  proposition  of  the  Public  School  Society — 
passing  altogether  over  ours,  which  common  justice  required  should  have 
also  been  presented,  as  it  would  have  discovered  on  our  part  a  similar  dispo- 
sition, and  have  entirely  undeceived  the  Senators  as  to  any  alleged  claim  to 
have  religion  taught  in  a  definite  form. 

There  was  no  official  declaration  guarding  against  the  possibility  that,  next 
year,  another  Board  might  not  alter  all  these  books  to  a  worse  state  than 
ever — ^and  consequently  their  offer  to  expunge  their  books  was  altogether 
nugatory.     Mr.  Ketchum  says,  however,  "  This  portion  of  the  report,  as 


will  be  seen,  has  reference  to  these  offensive  passages.  New,  every  body 
will  say,  that  it  is  a  fair  offer— we  will  strike  them  out.  But,  gentlemen  of 
the  conimittJe,  I  submit  whether  here,  in  this  country,  we  must  not  in  mat- 
ters of  conflicting  opinions,  give  and  take."  "Well,  I  do  not  find  the  Public 
School  Society,  although  very  good  at  "ia/iJJn^,"  at  all  disposed  to  "^ii'e" 
any  thing.     (Laughter.) 

"  I  have  no  doubt  that  I  can  find  something  in  any  public  school  book,  of  much 
length,  and  containing  much  variety  of  matter,  reflecting  upon  the  Methodists— upon 
the  heated  zeal,  probably  of  John  Wesley  and  his  followers— reflecting  upon  the  Epis- 
copalians, the  Baptists,  and  Presbyterians.  Occasional  sentences  will  flnd  their  way 
into  public  discourses,  which,  if  viewed  critically,  and  regarded  in  a  captious  spirit, 
rather  reflect  upon  the  doctrines  of  all  those  churches." 

In  this  way  he  gets  over  these  passages  most  insulting  to  us  and  our  religion, 
whfch  I  pointed  out  to  those  gentlemen  after  their  having  inculcated  them 
in  the  minds  of  the  children  for  sixteen  years  past!  "We  have  to  add, 
however,  that  in  examining  these  books,  we  found  no  passages  reflecting  on 
those  denominations. 

Now  I  will  call  your  attention  to  Mr.  Ketohum's  views  respecting  conscience 
and  conscientious  scruples.  We  supposed  that  when  a  man  could  not  do  a 
thing  in  conscience,  the  reason  was  that  he  thought  by  doing  it  he  would 
offend  God.  This  is  what  we  supposed  to  be  a  conscientious  difficulty ;  and 
therefore  it  was  that  we  did  not  object — as  he  says,  and  as  I  shall  have  occa- 
sion to  treat  of  presently — to  the  Protestants  reading  their  version  of  the 
Bible;  because  believing  it  right,  they  could  use  it  with  a  good  comscience. 
But  we  Catholics  did  not  approve  of  the  version,  many  other  denominations 
i!o  not  approve  of  it — the  Baptists  and  Unitarians  for  instance, — and  one 
objection  was  that  Mr.  Ketchum  and  the  Public  School  Socjety  would  force 
nn  us  the  reading  of  that  version  against  which  we  had  conscientious  objec- 
tions. We  believe  that  to  yield  to  that,  would  damage  the  faith  which  we 
hold  to  be  most  pleasing  to  God.  Suppose  us  to  be  in  error,  if  you  please; 
but  certainly  the  Public  School  Society  have  no  right  to  rule  that  we  are. 
They  are  not  infallible,  and  consequently  should  recognize  our  right  of  con- 
science, as  we  recognize  theirs. 

But  Mr.  Ketchum  has  battled  bravely  against  these  principles,  and  think- 
ing it  would  be  better  for  us  to  agree  to  offend  God,  and  coincide  with 
1  ho  Public  School  Society,  wishes  to  beat  down  these  scruples.  And  now 
would  you  have  his  idea  of  a  conscientious  scruple?  Ho  institutes  a  com- 
parison in  order  to  show  how  trifling  such  things  are,  and  he  says : — 

"  On  the  other  hand,  there  are  many  passages  fr'om  the  speeches  of  Mr.  Webster, 
which  have  found  their  way  into  school  books  ;  and  a  democrat  may  say,  I  cannot  go 
.Mr.  Webster ;  my  children  shall  not  be  taught  to  admire  him.  And  thus,  if  we  are 
captious,  we  can  flnd  conscientious  scruples  enough."  ■ 

So  that  Mr.  Webster's  writings  are  placed,  as  it  were,  on  a  parallel  with 
the  word  of  God  himself; — and  a  difficulty  of  which  he  is  the  subject  is 
spoken  of  in  the  same  way  as  if  it  were  a  difficulty  in  reference  to  God ! 
\m\  what  is  Mr.  Ketchum's  conclusion  ?  That  whilst  he  would  trample  on 
our  conscientious  scruples  about  the  Deity,  to  bow  with  great  deference  to 
the  scruples  about  Mr.  Webster,  and  of  this  he  goes  on  :— 

"  However,  if  it  is  bona  fide  a  conscientious  scruple,  there  is  the  end  of  it ;  we  cannot 
reason  with  it.  But,  in  the  judgment  of  the  Common  Council,  and  as  I  think  must  be 
the  case  in  the  judgment  of  every  man,  the  difficulty  is  got  over  by  the  proposition 
which  has  been  madt." 

,  Well  now  jiist  let  liim  extend  a  little  of  that  indulgence  to  us  in  the  case 
in  which  our  account  to  our  Creator  and  eternal  Judge  is  involved.  But  not 
60.    He  next  says  :''The  next  complaint  is,  that  we  do  not  give  religious  edu- 


cation  enmigli."  TiVliere  did  Mr. Ketchiim  find  that?     Thit  is  "substitution" 
airain.     He  has  not  found  tliat  in  any  tiling  fi'om  us.     Ho  pi-ooeeds : 

"Tlie  memorials,  all  of  vvliicb  are  public — and  the  speeches  and  documents  v\'hioh 
have  been  employed,  and  which,  if  necessary,  cau  be  furnished  to  the  commitlee— all 
go  conclusively  to  demonstrate  that,  in  the  jndgment  of  those  who  spoke  for  the  Roman 
I,  iitJiolic  Church,  we  ought  to  teach  religion  in  our  public  schools— not  generally — not 
vaguely— not  the  general  truths  of  religion;  but  that  .specific  religious  instruction 
must  be  given.  Kow,  I  hardly  suppose  that  this  deficiency  can  be  made  the  subject  of 
conscientious  objection." 

r.ut  that  is  a  false  issue.  On  none  of  th(;se  points  has  he  stated  our  objec- 
tion. We  never  objected,  as  far  as  Catholic  children  were  concerned,  that  they 
did  not  teach  religion.  We  complained  of  a  system  from  which  religion  was 
(according  to  them)  excluded  by  law.  But  that  on  the  contrary  they  did 
attempt,  surreptitiously,  to  introduce  such  teaching,  in  a  form  that  we  did  not 
recognize.     What  does  ho  say  then  ? 

"  The  third  and  last  complaint  is,  that  our  Catholic  brethren  can  not  cons;ent  to  have 
this  Llible  read  in  the  hearing  of  their  children.  Now,  on  every  one  of  these  points, 
the  Trustees  have  been  disposed  to  go  as  far  as  they  possibly  could  in  the  way  of 
accommodation;  but  they  never  yet  consented  to  give  up  the  use  of  the  Bible  to' the 
extent  to  which  it  is  used  in  the  schools.  I  say  the  Trustees  have  never  yet  consented 
to  this  surrender.  But  if  they  can  have  good  authority  for  doing  it,  they  will  do  it. 
If  this  Legislature,  by  its  own  act,  will  direct  that  the  Bible  shall  be  excluded,  I  will 
guarantee  that  it  shall  be  excluded." 

Now  perhaps,  one  of  the  rarest  talents  of  an  orator,  is  that  which  enables 
him  to  accommodate  his  discourse  to  the  character  of  the  audience  whom  he 
addresses.  But  like  all  rare  talents,  it  should  be  exercised  with  discretion. 
That  the  learned  gentleman  possesses  it,  however,  is  proved  by  the  fact,  that 
the  very  declarations  made  by  him  before  the  Senate  are  contradicted  by  his 
statements  before  the  Common  Council,  and  vice  versa.  Before  the  Common 
Council,  in  the  presence  of  a  number  of  the  clergy,  he  eloquently  denounced 
the  exclusion  of  the  Bible  from  the  schools.  If  a  compromise  depended  on 
this,  he  must  say  "  No  compromise."  Before  the  Senate,  however,  he  is  all 
ob.3equeoiL>^ness,  "  Gentlemen,  if  you  give  us  authority  to  exclude  the  Bible,  I 
guarantee  that  it  shall  be  so !" 

I  recollect  the  beautiful  period  with  which  the  gentleman  wound  up  his  sen- 
timent Ijeforc  the  Common  Council,  I  remember  him  saying  that  '.'  it  would  be 
hard  to  part  with  that  translated  Bible — hard  indeed,  for  it  had  been  the  con- 
solation of  many  in  death — the  spring  of  hope  in  life  —and  wherever  it  had  gone 
there  was  liberty  and  there  was  freedom,  and  where  it  had  not  gone  there  was 
darkness  and  there  was  despotism."  But  I  must  apologize  for  attempting  to  re- 
peat, as  I  spoil  the  poetry  of  his  eloquent  language.  At  the  time,  however,  I 
thought  what  a  beautiful  piece  of  declamation  for  a  Bible  Society  Meeting  ;  for, 
on  such  occasions,  owing  to  the  enthusiasm — the  sincere  enthusiasm — of  the 
auditor.?,  and  the  oftentimes  artiflcial  enthusiasm  of  the  speakers,  all  history, 
philosophy,  and  common  sense,  occasionally,  are  rendered  quite  superfluous. 
The  most  beautiful  phrases,  resting  on  no  basis  but  fancy,  may  be  strung  to- 
gether, and  will  produce  the  deepest  impression.  But  I  doubt  much  when  we 
come  to  examine  the  sober  reality  of  the  matter  whether  the  poetical  beauties  of 
Mr.  Ketchura's  Action  will  not  be  seen  vanishing  into  thin  air.  I  doubt  much, 
indeed,  whether  the  libert}',  whose  origin  and  progress  history  has  recorded, 
will  be  found  to  have  sprung  from  "that  translated  Bible,"  in  any  sense,  and 
especially  in  the  sense  of  Mr.  Ketchum.  I,  of  course,  yield  to  no  man  in  pro- 
found veneration  foi-  the  book  of  God,  but  there  is  a  point  of  exaggeration  which 
does  no  credit,  but  injury  to  that  Holy  Book. 

Let  us  look  at  these  translations  of  the  Bible.  The  first  was  Tyndall's,  then 
Coverdalo's,  and  then  the  Bishop's  Bible.  These  remained  till  the  time  of 
James  the  First,  and  during  all  that  time — a  period  of  about  a  century — if 


ever  there  was  a  period  of  degrading  and  slavish  submission  to  tyrannical 
power  in  England,  it  was  then  beyond  all  comparison.  At  the  close  of  this 
period  a  new  translation  was  made  and  dedicated  to  the  king.  It  was  dis- 
covered that  the  "  only  rule  of  Faith  and  Practice  "  during  all  this  time  was 
full  of  errors  and  corruption.  Every  one  knows  that  James  was  one  of  the 
poorest  scions  of  the  poor  race  from  whom  he  was  descended.  Yet  in  their 
dedication,  the  translators  appointed  to  amend  the  rule  of  faith  by  a  new  trans- 
lation, call  him  the  "  Sun  in  his  strength,"  and  that  from  his  many  and  extra- 
ordinary graces,  he  might  be  called  the  "  wonder  of  the  wokld  ! "  Now, 
during  the  succeeding  sixty  or  eighty  years  what  were  the  doctrines  of  liberty 
in  England  ?  It  was  then  that  the  schoolmen  of  Oxford  and  Cambridge  taught 
from ''that  translated  Bible"  the  dogma  of  "  NON-nESISTA^'«E  to  the  eoyal 
authority" — that  "passive  obedience"  was  the  duty  of  subjects — that  no 
crime  nor  possible  tyranny  of  the  prince  could  authorize  a  subject  to  rebel. 
How  could  Mr.  Ketchum  forget  all  that? 

Let  us  examine  the  facts  of  the  case  and  ascertain  how  correct  Mr.  Ketchum 
was  when  he  said  that  liberty  had  always  followed  the  progress  of  that  trans- 
lated Bible.  You  will  find  that  from  the  period  of  the  Reformation  down  to 
the  Revolution,  England  was  sunk  to  the  lowest  degree  of  slavish  submission  , 
to  tyrannical  authority.  The  spirit  of  old  Enghsh  freedom  had  disappeared  at 
the  Reformation,  and  it  was  only  at  the  Revolution  that,  like  a  ship  recovering 
its  equilibrium  after  having  been  long  capsized  by  the  storm,  that  old  spirit 
righted  itself  again.  But  do  I  speak  poetry  like  Mr.  Ketchum  ?  let  me  appeal 
to  facts  (loud. cheers.) 

We  find  the  fundamental  principles  of  liberty  as  well  understood  by  our 
Catholic  ancestors,  centuries  before  the  Reformation,  as  they  are  at  the 
present  day.  They  well  understood  the  principle,  that  all  civil  authority 
is  derived  from  the  people,  and  that  those  elected  to  exercise  it,  are  res- 
ponsible to  those  from  whom  they  derive  their  power. 

"  By  one  of  the  laws  of  Edward  the  Confessor,  conQrmed  by  the  Conqueror,  the  duties 
of  the  Wmg  are  defined  ;  and  it  is  provided  that,  unless  he  should  properly  discharge 
them,  he  should  not  even  be  allowed  the  name  of  king  as  a  title  of  courtesy,  and  this 
on  the  authority  of  a  pope.  The  coronation  of  Henry  I.  was  based  on  as  regular  a  con- 
tract as  ever  yet  took  place  in  market-overt.  By  the  coronation  oaths  of  the  several 
monarchs  between  him  and  John  a  similar  contract  was  implied.  By  Magna  Charta, 
and  its  articles  for  keeping  the  peace  between  the  king  and  the  kingdom,  this  implied 
contract  was  reduced  to  writing,  and  'signed,  sealed,  and  delivered  by  the  parties 
thereto.'  In  the  reign  of  Henry  lit.  Bracton,  one  of  his  judges,  tells  us,  that  since  the 
king  '  is  God's  minister  and  deputy,  he  can  do  nothing  else  on  earth,  but  that  only 

which  he  can  do  of  right Therefore,  while  he  does  justice  he  is  the  deputy 

of  the  Elei-nal  King;  but  the  minister  of  the  devil  when  he  turns  to  injustice.  For  he 
is  called  king  from  governing  well,  and  not  from  reigning ;  because  he  is  king  while  he 
reigns  well,  but  a  tyrant  when  he  violently  oppresses  the  people  entrusted  to  him.  . 
.  .  .  Let  the  king,  therefore,  allow  to  the  law  what  the  law  allows  to  him — dominion 
and  power — for  he  is  not  a  king  with  whom  his  will,  and  not  the  law,  rules." — Dublin 

There  was  the  language  of  a  judge  in  the  times  before  either  the  Refor- 
mation or  James'  translation  of  the  Bible  were  dreamed  of!  I  pass  to  ano- 
ther historical  event — the  crowning  of  John,  on  which  occasion  Hubert, 
the  Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  fearing  that  the  monarch,  from  supposing 
that  his  royal  blood  alone  entitled  him  to  receive  the  kingly  ofBce,  should 
throw  the  kingdom  into  confusion,  reminded  him  that  no  one  had  such  a 
right  to  succeed  another  in  the  government  unless  chosen  by  the  people. 

"  That  no  one  had  a  right  by  any  precedent  reason  to  succeed  another  in  the  sover- 
eignty, unless  he  were  unanimously  chosen  by  the  entire  kingdom,  and  pre-elected 
according  to  the  eminency  of  his  morals,  after  the  example  of  haul,  the  first  anointed 
king  whom  God  had  set  over  his  people,  though  not  a  king's  son,  or  sprung  of  a  roval 
raie,  that  thus  he  who  excelled  all  in  ability,  should  presid'e  over  all  Avith  power  and 
ttuihority.    But  if  any  of  a  deceased  king's  family  excelled  the  rest  of  the  nation,  to  hia 


election  they  should  more  readily  assent.  For  these  reasons  they  had  chosim  Connt 
John,  the  brother  of  their  deceased  king,  on  account  as  well  of  his  merits  as  of  his 
royal  blood.    To  this  declaration  John  and  the  Assembly  assented." 

I  wonder  whether  an  Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  now,  with  this  translat- 
ed Bible  in  his  hand,  would  dare  to  utter  such  language  in  the  presenee  of 
the  monarch  when  he  was  about  to  officiate  at  a  coronation !  Let  us  now 
turn  to  what  occurred  after  this  translation  of  the  Bible.  At  the  execution 
of  the  Earl  of  Monmouth,  there  were  a  number  of  Protestant  divines  whc 
exhorted  him  to  die  like  a  "  good  Christian,"  and  the  great  point  on  which 
they  insisted  was  that  the  subject  was  bound  to  obey  the  prince  with 
"  passive  obedience."  But  the  noble  Earl,  in  whose  breast  there  still  burn- 
ed something  of  the  principles  of  the  olden  times  of  England,  would  not 
agree  to  that  dogma,  and  then  the  divines  under  the  influence  of  this  trans- 
lated Bible  refused  to  pray  for  him.  Their  last  words  were,  "  Then,  my 
lord,  we  can  only  recommend  you  to  the  mercy  of  God,  but  we  cannot  pray 
with  that  cheerfulness  and  encouragement  as  we  should  if  you  had  made 
a  particular  acknowledgment." 

The  same  doctrine  was  prevalent  at  the  time  of  Tillotson,  and  he  speaks 
of  it  not  only  as  his  own  opinion,  but  as  that  of  those  for  whom  Mr.  Ketoh- 
um  claims  the  honor  of  being  considered  the  apostles  of  English  liberty !  I 
quote  from  the  Dublin  Review  : 

"  Amons;  those  who  importuned  the  unfortunate  Lord  Russell  to  make  a  similar  ac- 
knowledgment was  Tillotston,  who,  by  letter,  told  him  that  this  doctrine  of  non-resist- 
ance '  was  the  declared  doctrine  of  all  Protestant  Churches,  though  some  particular 
persons  had  thought  otherwise,'  and  expressed  his  concern  'that  you  do  not  leave  the 
world  in  a  delusion  and  false  hope  to  the  hinderance  of  your  eternal  happiness,"  by 
doubting  the  saving  article  of  faith.  Within  the  same  period.  Bishop  Sanderson  deliv- 
ered the  doctrine  in  the  following  clear  and  explicit  language.  He  declares  that,  '  to 
blaspheme  the  holy  name  of  God,  to  sacrifice  to  idols,'  &o.,  &o.,  '  to  take  up  arms 
against  a  lawful  sovereign,  none  of  these,  and  sundry  other  things  of  the  like  nature, 
being  all  of  them  simple  and  de  toto  genere,  unlawful,  may  be  done  on  any  color  or 
pretence  whatsoever,  the  express  command  of  God  only  excepted,  as  in  the  case  of 
Abraham  sacrificing  his  son,  not  for  the  avoiding  of  scandal,  not  at  the  instance  of  any 
friend,  or  command  of  any  power  on  earth — not  for  the  maintenance  of  the  lives  and 
liberties  of  ourselves  or  others,  nor  for  the  defence  of  religion,  nor  for  the  preservation 
of  the  Church  and  State  ;  no,  nor  yet,  if  that  could  be  imagined  possible,  for  the  salva- 
tion of  a  soul,  no — not  for  the  redemption  of  the  whole  world.'  This  was  considered  a 
very  orthodox  eS'usion." — Dublin,  BevUw. 

An  article  of  faith  that  you  dare  not  under  any  circumstances  resist  the 
kingly  power. 

Compare,  then,  the  language  of  Protestant  divines  having  this  translated 
Bible  before  them,  with  that  of  Catholic  divines  at  a  former  period,  and  see 
the  ground  which  Mr.  Ketchum  has  found  in  England  for  his  poetical  as- 
sertion. But,  perhaps,  if  we  turn  our  attention  to  the  Protestant  govern  ■ 
ment  of  Europe,  we  may  find  his  dreani  realized.  Perhaps  he  may  find  his 
dream  realized  in  Prussia  ?  In  th^t  country  there  are  two  principal  com- 
munions of  Protestants,  the  Lutheran  and  the  Calvinist.  Now,  the  king 
calls  his  ofiioe'rs  together,  and  tells  them  to  draw  up  a  liturgy :  decrees  that 
both  will,  and  shall,  and  must  believe  or  practice  this  liturgy  ?  (Laughter 
and  cheers.)  Or  he  may  go  to  Sweden,  or  to  Norway,  or  Denmark,  and 
the  dark  despotism  of  the  North,  perchance  there  he  may  find  that  liberty, 
of  which  he  speaks,  progressing  with  this  translation.  What  kind  of  free- 
dom, let  me  ask  Mr.  Ketchum,  followed  this  "translated  Bible"  to  Ireland 
—that  everlasting  monument  to  Catholic  fidelity  and  Protestant  shame  ! 
(Tremendous  applause.) 

But  to  come  to  this  country — ^perhaps  it  was  in  New  England  among  the 
Puritans,  that  Mr.  Ketchum's  dream  was  realized  —  ask  the  Quaker ! 
(Laughter.),  Perhaps  it  was  in  Virginia — ask  the  Presbyterian  I  "Where  was 


it?  Let  me  tell  you.  It  was  in  Maryland,  among  the  Catholics.  Theij 
Ikiiew  enough  of  the  rights  of  conseienoe  to  raise  the  fiist  standard  of  re- 
ligious liberty  that  ever  floated  on  the  breeze  in  America.  (Clieers.)  You 
may  ho  told  that  Roger  Williams  and  his  associates  in  Rhode  Island  de- 
clared equal  rights.  Not  at  all — he  excluded  Roman  Catholics  from  exer- 
cising the  elective  franchise.  But  the  Catholics  did  not  exclude  liira. 
They  may  refer  to  Pennsylvania — the  reference  is  equally  untbrtunate,  for 
Penn  wrote  from  England  remonstrating  with  the  Governor,  Logan,  I  be^ 
Have,  for  permitting  the  scandal  of  Catholic  worship  in  Philadelphia. 

Turn,  noV,  look  at  the  constellation  of  Catholic  Republics,  before  Prot- 
estantism was  dreamed  of  as  a  future  contingency.  Look  at  Venice, 
Genoa,  Florence,  and  that  little  republic — not  larger  than  a  pin's  head  on 
the  map — San  Marino — which  has  preserved  its  independence  for  such  a 
long  course  of  centuries,  lest  the  science  of  repubKcanis'm  should  be  lost  to 
the  world !  Look  at  Poland — when  the  Protestants  were  persecuting  one 
another  to  the  death  in  Germany,  Poland  opened  her  gates  to  the  refugees 
and  made  them  equal  with  her  own  subjects,  and  in  the  Diet  of  Poland,  at 
which  the  law  was  passed,  there  were  eight  Catholic  Bishops,  and  they 
must  have  sanctioned  the  law,for  the  liberalism  veto  gave  each  the  power  to 
prevent  it.  I  challenge  Mr.  Ketchum  to  point  out,  in  the  whole  history  of 
the  globe,  one  instance  of  similar  liberality  on  the  part  of'  Protestants  to- 
wards Catholics. 

Now,  what  becomes  of  that  beautiful  declaration  of  Mr.  Ketchum,  that 
wherever  that  translation  had  gone  liberty  followed?  I  know,  indeed, 
that  in  this  country  we  all  enjoy  equal  civil  rights,  but  I  know  also  that  it 
was  not  Protestant  liberality  that  secured  them.  They  grew  out  of  necessity, 
and  in  the  declaration  of  them  there  is  no  difference  made  between  one  religion 
and  another.  Catholics  contended  as  valiantly  as  any  other,  in  the  first  ranks 
of  the  contest  for  liberty.  And  I  fervently  hope  that  it  is  too  late  in  the  day 
for  any  one  to  pretend  that  Catholics  have  been  so  blinded  by  their  religion  as 
to  be  unable  to  know  what  is  liberty  and  what  is  not.    (Cheers.) 

Be  it  understood,  then,  that  not  one  of  the  objections  which  Mr.  Ketchum 
has  put  into  our  mouths  respecting  the  Bible,  was  ever  presented  to  the  Senate 
by  us. 

Mr.  Ketchum  having  thus  disposed  of  our  pretended  objections,  goes  on 
to  speak  of  the  Secretary's  Report. 

"  Thej  will  be  satisfied  with  it,  it  will  c;ive  them  what  thev  ask.  Now,  lot  us  sea 
bow  ?  There  is  no  proposition  contained  in  this  report  that  religious  societies,  as  such, 
shall  participate  in  this  fund — none." 

Then,  Sir,  I  ask  what  is  your  objection  ?  In  New  York  before  the  Com- 
mon Council  all  your  opposition  was  directed  against  "  religious  societies." 
Mr.  Spencer  has  removed  every  ground  for  that,  and  I  therefore  ask  what  is 
your  object  ?  Your  object  is  to  preserve  the  Public  School  Society  in  the 
monopoly,  not  only  of  the  funds  contributed  by  the  citizens  for  the. support 
of  education,  but  also  of  the  children.     He  says : 

"  The  trustees  of  districts  shall  indicate  what  religion  shall  be  taught  in  those  schools; 
that  is  to  say,  that  you  shall  hav%  small  masses;  that  these  small  masses  shall  elect 
their  trustees;  and  as  the  majority  of  the  people  in  those  small  masses  hiay  direct,  so 
shall  be  the  character  of  the  religious  instruction  imparted." 

Mr.  Spencer  wishes  to  take  from  the  Society  that  very  feature  which  is 
objected  to — that  is  to  say,  he  wishes  that  religion  shall  neither  be  exclud- 
ed nor  enforced  hy  law.  And  yet,  Mr.  Ketchum,  by  his  old  principle  of 
substitution,  makes  out  quite  a  different  proposition  from  the  Report,  and 
infers  that  the  Trustees  shall  have  the  power  to  prescribe  what  religioq 
shall  be  taught.    I  do  not  sse  that  in  the  Rej>ort  at  all.     On  the  contrary, 



the  Secretary  leaves  parents  at  liberty  to  act  on  that  subject  as  they  see 
proper.  Mr.  Ketchuni  supposes  a  case  to  illustrate  his  view  of  tlie  matter. 
which  I  must  say  does  not  do  Mm  much  credit.     He  says  : 

"  But  when  a  school  is  formed  in  the  sixth  ward  of  the  city  of  New  York,  in  which 
ward  (for  the  sake  of  the  argument  we  will  assume)  tlie  Roman  Catholics  have  a  ma- 
jority in  the  district;  they  choose  their  trustees,  and  these  trustees  iudicate  that  a 
specific  form  of  religion,  to  wit,  the  Roman  Catholic,  shall  be  taught  in  that  school — 
that  mass  shall  be  said  there,  and  that  the  children  shall  cross  themselves  with  holy 
water  in  the  school,  having  the  right  to  do  so  according  to  this  report,  the  Catholics  beinj;; 
in  a  majority  there.  Then,  and  not  till  then,  can  these  Roman  Catholics  conscientiously 
send  their  children  to  school — that  is  to  say,  their  objections  lo  this  system  are  to  be 
overcome  by  having  a  school  to  which  they  conscientiously  send  their  children  ;  and 
that  school  must  be  oue  in  which  religion  is  to  be  taught  according  to  their  particular 

That  is  drawing  an  inference  without  the  facts,  for  we  never  said  so,  nor 
ever  furnished  Mm  authority  to  say  so,  and  although  Mr.  Ketchum  has  the 
authority  of  the  Public  School  Society  to  speak,  yet  that  does  not  enable 
him,  when  he  states  what  is  not  the  fact,  to  make  it  true.  But  I  wish  to 
know  why  he  brought  up  that  picture  at  all — why  the  sixth  ward  should 
have  peculiar  charms  in  his  imagination,  or  why  he  should  have  introduced 
all  that  about  the  children  crossing  themselves  with  holy  water  ?  And 
pray  is  it  for  Mr.  Ketchum  to  find  fault  with  what  he  supposes  to  be  reli- 
gious error,  and  for  which  he  is  not  at  all  accountable  ?  He  has  not  shown, 
nor  lias  any  man  shown  that  such  consequences  would  follow — it  is  impos- 
sible that  the  Trustees  could  act  so  ridiculously  as  to  permit  such  a  thing 
— it  was  incredible  that  they,  being  responsible  to  the  oflScers  appointed  by 
the  State,  and  under  the  eye  of  such  vigilant  gentlemen  as  Mr.  Ketchum 
and  the  Public  School  Society,  could  permit  Mass  to  be  celebrated  in  the 
schools  ?  Tet  such  is  the  picture  presented  by  Mr.  Ketchum,  quite  in  ac- 
cordance with  his  old  course,  and  in  order  to  excite  popular  prejudices,  for 
which  this  speech  seems  to  have  been  so  studiously  prepared.  Por  he  well 
knew  that  amongst  a  large  portion  of  the  Protestants  there  is  a  vast 
amount  of  traditional  prejudice  against  Catholics,  which  has,  from  being 
repeated  incessantly  and  seldom  contradicted,  become  iixed,  occupying  the 
place  of  truth  and  knowledge.  Their  case  reminds  me  of  what  is  related 
of  BaroQ  Munchausen.  It  is  said  that  when  this  celebrated  traveler  was 
old  he  had  a  kind  oi  consciousness  that  there  was  some  former  period  of  his 
life  when  he  knew  that  all  his  stories  were  untrue,  but  he  had  repeated 
them  so  often  that  now  he  actually  believed  them  to  be  true !  (Loud  laugh-- 
ter  and  cheers.) 

It  is  to  such  persons  as  are  under  the  influence  of  these  prejudices  and 
bigotries  that  Mr.  Ketchum  addresses  his  speech,  and  if  he  utter  the  sentiments 
of  the  Public  School  Society,  how,  I  ask,  can  we  confide  to  their  hands  the 
training  of  the  tender  minds  of  our  children. 

But  one  of  the  most  remarkable  things  in  this  speech  is,  that  after  having 
beaten  off  in  succession  the  different  religious  denominations,  because,  as  he 
said,  they  would  teach  religion  —  having,  in  fact,  played  one  sect  against  the 
other — ^Mr.  Ketchtim  turns  round  and  affirms  that  the  Society  itself  does  teach 
religion.     He  says : 

"No,  sir.  I  afHim  that  the  religion  taught  in  the  public  schools  is  precisely  that 
quantity  of  religion  which  we  have  a  right  to  teach ;  it  would  be  inconsistent  with  pub- 
lic sentiment  to  teach  less  ;  it  would  be  illegal  to  teach  more." 

The  " exact  quantity  !  "  Apothecary's  weight!  (Great  laughter.)  Nothing 
about  the  quality  except  that  Mr.  Ketchum  having  made  it  an  objection  that 
we  wished  religion  in  a  definite  form,  he  will  give  it  in  an  indefinite  form — a 
fine  religion — but  at  all  events  there  is  to  be  the  "  legal  quantity."  "Well,  now 
let  us  see  something  about  the  quality  of  this  religion,  and  I  wish  to  consider 


the  subject  seriously.  A-nd  here  let  me  refer  to  a  beautiful  sentiment  expressed 
by  the  Secretary  in  his  report— He  says  that  religion  and  literature  have  be 
come  so  blended,  that  the  separation  of  the  one  from  the  other  is  impossible. 
A  more  true  or  appropriate  declaration  could  not  proceed  from  the  lips  of  any 
man  wishing  the  welfare  of  his  country  and  his  kind!  (Cheers.) 

Now,  whenever  we  made  objections  to  that  society  for  pretending  that  re- 
ligious subjects  were  excluded  by  law,  it  was  on  these  grounds.  We  said,  we 
refer  you  to  the  experience  of  public  men — to  that  of  the  most  celebrated  states 
men  in  Europe,  even  to  the  infidels  of  France— who  have  uniformly  declared 
that  society  cannot  exist  except  on  the  basis  of  religion.  All  of  them,  whether 
believing  in  religion  or  not,  have  admitted  the  necessity  of  having  some  kind 
of  religion  as  the  basis  of  the  social  edifice.  But  these  gentlemen,  in  all  their 
debates,  have  contended  that  the  education  to  be  given  should  be  "purely  civil 
and  secular."  That  is  their  official  language.  And  now  for  the  first  time  Mr. 
Ketchura  before  the  Senate,  declares  that  the  society  does  teach  religion,  and 
exactly  the  proper  quantity !  (Cheers.)  Let  me  now  call  your  attention  to  a 
passage  in  one  of  their  reading  books,  in  order  that  we  may  see  a  specimen  of 
this  religion.  I  will  now  make  a  few  comments  on  the  passage,  but  I  do  con- 
ceive that  there  are  persons  of  all  those  denominations  who  recognize  the  doc- 
tripe  of  the  Trinity,  who  could  not  be  induced  to  have  the  minds  of  their 
children  inoculated  with  such  sentitnents  as  it  contains.  Referring  to  our 
blessed  Redeemer  one  of  the  school-books  says : 

"  His  answers  to  the  many  insidious  questions  that  were  put  to  him,  showed  uncom- 
mon quickness  of  conception,  soundness  of  judgment  and  presence  of  mind;  completely 
baffled  all  the  artifices  and  malice  of  his  enemies;  and  enabled  him  to  elude  all  the 
snares  that  were  laid  for  him." 

Are  these  the  ideas  of  the  divine  attributes  of  the  Redeemer  which  the 
Christian  portion  of  the  community  wish  impressed  on  the  minds  of  their 
children  ?  That  such  have  been  the  sentiments  taught  by  the  society  for 
the  last  sixteen  years,  they  ctmnot  deny.  And  they  may  account  for  it  as 
they  please,  but  it  has  attracted  the  attention  of  many,  that  for  the  last  six- 
teen years  the  progress  of  that  young  and  daring  blasphemy  that  trifles  with 
all  that  is  sacred  has  increased  tenfold  in  this  city.  How  do  I  account  for 
it  ?  In  two  ways — first,  because  a  large  portion  of  the  young  are  debarred 
from  the  benefits  of  education,  and,  on  the  other  hand,  there  is  the  attempt 
which  has  been  made  to  divorce  religion  from  literature.  When  such  causes 
exist  you  need  not  be  surprised  to  find  that  infidelity  thickens  its  ranks 
and  raises  on  every  side  its  bold  and  impious  front. 

I  have  presented  you  with  a  specimen  of  the  quality  of  that  religion  which 
Mr.  Ketohnm  says  is  dealt  out  with  exact  and  legal  measure. 

Mr.  Ketchum  contends  that  it  is  a  religion  of  a  decided  character  that  we 
want.  And  pray  what  are  we  to  understand  by  religion  that  is  not  decided? 
A  religion  which  is  vague — a  general  religion?  What  is  the  meaning  of 
these  terms?  I  desire  to  have  a  definition  of  them.  If  there  is  to  be  estab- 
lished by  law  a  Public  School  Society-Religion,  I  should  like  to  have  its  con- 
fession of  faith,  and  be  informed  of  the  number  of  articles,  and  the  nature 
of  the  doctrines  contained  in  them.  But  it  seems  to  me  that  Mr.  Ketchum 
and  this  Public  Scliool  Society  resemble  a  body  of  men  who  are  opposed  to 
all  physicians  because  they  understand  medicine,  and  who,  although  them- 
selves opposed  to  all  practice  of  medicine,  are  yet  disposed  to  administer  to 
the  patients  of  the  regular  practitioners.  And  the  comparison  holds  good — 
foi-,  after  all,  children  are  born  with  a  natural  moral  disease — want  of  knowl- 
edge, and  evil  propensities — and  education  and  religion  are  the  remedial 
agent.?  to  counteract  these  evil  tendencies  and  remove  the  natural  infirmity. 
Then  wo  have  the  practitioners,  as  they  may  be  termed,  coming  to  see  the 
patient,  the  wliole  community  supplying  the  medicine-ohest ;  and  we  have 


these  men  surroundicg  this  chest  and  exclq,iming  to  the  physicians,  "Clear 
off!  you  are  a  Thomsouian,  and  you  are  a  Broussaist,  you  are  a  Homojopatliic, 
and  you  are  a  regular  practitioner,  and  you  wish  to  prescribe  remedies  of  a 
decided  and  definite  character,  wliich  is  contrary  to  "a  great  principle." 
And  having  thus  banished  all  the  physicians  they  turn  doctors  themselves 
and  mix  up  their  drugs  into  what  they  call  a  "genei'al  medicine,"  of  whicii 
they  administer  what  they  call  the  legal  quantity.  (Laughter  and  cheers.) 
But  the  gentlemen  forget  that  neither  the  patient  nor  the  medicine  are  theirs. 
Those  who  furnish  the  patient  and  supply  the  medicine-chest  should  have  a 
voice  in  the  selection  of  the  doctors. 

What  do  the  gentlemen  really  intend?  They  object  to  religious  societies, 
but  after  they  had  got  them  pushed  out  of  the  house,  they  begin  to  teach 
religion  themselves!  Mr.  Ketohum  acknowledges  that  He  an'd  Mr.  Sedg- 
wick, his  associate,  however,  do  not  appear  to  have  studied  theology  in  the 
same  school.  One  says  that  religion  isi^the  basis  of  all  morality,  the  other 
that  morality  is  the  basis  of  religion.  And,  after  all,  do  men  agree  any  more 
in  their  views  of  morality  than  religion?  Certainly  not.  And  yet  you  must 
give  to  the  children — especially  those  of  that  class  attending  these  schools, 
for  it  should  be  bofne  in  mind  that  they,  for  the  most  part,  do  not  enjoy  tlie 
opportunity  of  parental  or  pastoral  instruction — some  supply  of  religions 
education.  Tliey  are  the  offspring  of  parents,  who  unfortunately  cannot 
sujjply  that  deficiency ;  and  if  they  are  brought  up  .in  this  way  with  a  kind 
of  contempt  for  religion — or  with  the  most  vague  idea  of  it,  the  most  lament- 
able results  must  necessarily  follow. 

,  I  now  come  to  another  point,  the  non-attendance  of  the  children  at  the 
schools.  Whilst  our  humble  school-rooms  are  crowded  to  excess,  the  Society 
have  been  obliged  to  give  $1,000  a  year  for  recruiting  for  children.  In  Grand 
street  they  have  erected  a  splendid  building,  almost  sufficient  to  accommo- 
date the  Senate  of  the  State,  and  besides  all  that,  we  find  they  are  able  to 
lavisli  public  money  in  payment  of  agents  to  collect  children.  Mr.  Seton, 
who  has  been  a  faithful  agent  of  the  Society,  made  that  fact  known,  and 
stated  that  by  this  means  800  children  were  collected.  And  to  wliom  was 
this  money  given?  To  tract  distributors — a  very  good  occupation  theirs  I 
liave  no  doubt;  but  at  the  same  time  that  was  rather  a  singular  appropria- 
tion by  men  so  extremely  scrupulous  lest  any  portion  of  the  public  money 
should  go  to  the  support  of  any  sect.  But  I  suppose  that  was  on  the  prin- 
ciple of  what  Mr.  Ketchum  calls  ," giving  and  taking" — that  is  you  give  a 
tract  and  take  a  child.     (Laughter  and  cheers.) 

Then  we  have  quite  an  effort  on  the  part  of  Mr.  Ketchum  to  prove  that 
the  trustees  discharge  their  onerous  duties  much  better  than  ofiicers  elected 
by  the  people.  I  will  quote  his  remarks  on  that  point :  "  This  Public 
School  Society  receives  its  daily  sustenance  from  the  representatives  of  the 
people — and  the  moment  that  sustenance  is  withdrawn,  it  dies, — it  cannot 
carrj'  on  its  operations  for  a  day." 

A, most  beautiful  subversion  of  the  actual  order!  For  so  far  from  the 
Common  Council  patronizing  the  Society,  it  is  the  Society  that  patronizes 
f  he  Common  Council — taking  them  into  partnership  the  moment  they  are 
elected,  and  so  far  from  being  dependent  on  the  Council,  as  was  well  re- 
marked by  a  greater  authority  than  I  am  on  this  subject,  the  Council  were 
dependent  on  the  Society.  The  schools  belong  to  the  Society,  just  as  much 
IS  the  Harlem  Bridge  does  to  the  Company  who  built  it.  What  remedy  is 
there  then  ?  The  Society,  self-constituted,  a  close  corporation,  takes  into 
partnersliip  the  Common  Council,  which  then  becomes  part  and  parcel — 
bone  of  the  bone,  and  fiesh  of  the  flesh — of  the  Society,  and  if  any  differ- 
ence arises  between  the  citizens  and  the  Society,  a  committee  of  that  very 
Society  adjudicates  in  the  cause  !    Thus  we  have  found  that  the  Common 


Council,  after  having  denied  our  claim,  and  oven  -wlion  about  to  retire  and 
fjive  place  to  their  successors,  followed  us  to  Albany,  and  their  last  act — 
like  that  of  the  retreating  Parthian  who  flung  his  dart  behind  him — was 
to  lay  their  remonstrance  on  the  table  of  the  tribunal  to  which  we  had 

Mr.  Ketchum  says  :  "  Here  are  agents  of  the  people — men  who,  having  a 
desire  to  serve  mankind,  associate  together;  they  offer  to  take  the  superin- 
tendence of  particular  works,  they  offer  themselves  to  the  public  as  agents 
to  carry  out  certain  benevolent  purposes  ;  and,  instead  of  paying  men  for 
the  labor,  they  volunteer  to  do  it  for  you,  '  without  money  and  without 
price,'  under  your  directions — to  do  it  as  your  servants — and  to  give  an 
account  to  you  and  an  account  to  the  Legislature.  Voluntary  public  ser- 
vice is  always  more  efficient  than  labor  done  by  servants  chosen  in  any 
other  way." 

So  that  because  they  serve  gratuitously,  they  discharge  their  duties 
much  better  than  if  elected  by  the  people  !  Well,  let  us  improve  upon  the 
hint.  Perhaps  some  of  them  may  be  kind  enough  to  discharge  the  more 
important  fimctions  of  the  government  for  nothing  !  But  if  volunteers  be 
more  efficient  than  officers  chosen  by  the  votes  of  the  people,  let  us  abol- 
ish the  farce  of  elections  altogether.  Not  satisfied  "with  this,  Mr.  Ketchum 
also  would  seem  to  contend,  that  the  volunteers  are  not  to  be  held  respon- 
sible ! 

To  establish  his  views  on  this  point,  Mr.  Ketchum  refers  to  charitable 
and  benevolent  institutions.  But  where  is  the  justice  of  the  comparison  ? 
The  sick  are  incompetent  to  secure  their  own  protection  and  recovery. 
The  inmates  of  houses  of  refuge,  on  which  Mr.  Ketchum  has  a  -beautiful 
apostrophe,  referring  to  his  own  share  in  the  erection  of  that  one  estab- 
lished in  this  city,  are  likewise  unable  to  take  care  of  themselves.  And 
here  let  me  say,  in  all  sincerity,  to  Mr.  Ketchum,  that  if  he  and  the  Public 
School  Society  determine  to  perpetuate  their  system,  if  they  continue  to 
exclude  religion  from  education,  and  at  the  same  time  to  deprive  four- 
fifths  of  the  children,  as  now,  of  any  education  at  all — then  he  had  better 
stretch  his  lines,  and  lay  the  foundation  of  houses  of  refuge,  as  the  appro- 
priate supplement  to  the  system.  Neither  does  the  comparison  hold,  as  I 
have  before  shown,  in  reference  to  lunatic  asylums,  &c. 

Then  Mr.  Ketchum  goes  on  to  illustrate  further,  and  says :  "  But  it  is 
said,  and  said  too  in  the  report  of  the  Secretary,  that  he  proposes  to  retain 
these  Public  Schools.  How  retain  them  ?  One  of  the  features  of  the'  pro- 
posed new  law  is,  that  all  school  moneys  shall  be  paid  to  the  teachers. 
Under  such  a  law  we  cannot  live  a  day — not  a  day." 

What  an  acknowledgment  is  thatl  That  a  law  which  would  make 
education  free— giving  equal  rights  to  all— would  be  the  death-warrant 
of  the  Public  School  Society.  There  is  another  point  on  which  Mr. 
Ketchum  does  not  now  dwell  so  emphatically.  He  says,  that  there  were 
a  large  number  of  tax-payers  who,  wonderful  to  relate,  asked  for  the 
privilege  of  being  taxed,  asked  for  that  privilege,  for  the  purpose  of 
supplying  the  Public  School  Society  with  money  to  carry  out  their  benev- 
olent purposes. 

Mr.  Ketchum  seems  to  consider  that  at  that  time  there  was  a  kind  of 
covenant  made  between  the  petitioners  to  be  taxed,  and  the  State  authori- 
ties, that  when  they  petitioned  and  were  taxed,  the  authorities  of  the  State 
bound  themselves  to  keep  up  the  system  in  perpetuum.  But  did  these  per- 
sons ask  to  be  taxed,  exclusively,  out  of  their  own  pockets,  or  did  they  ask 
for  a  system  of  taxation  which  should  reach  all  the  tax-paying  citizens  of 
New  York.  There  is  a  fallacy  in  Mr.  Ketchum's  argument'here.  He  sup- 
poses that  because  these  persona  are  large  property  holders,  that  they  are 


thimfoTe,piw  excellence,  the  payers  of  taxes.  He  forgets  that  it  is  a  fact  well 
understood  in  the  science  of  political  economy,  that  the  consumer  is,  after 
all,  the  tax-payer— that  it  is  the  tenants  occupying  the  pi'operty  of  those 
rich  men,  and  returning  them  their  large  rents,  who  are  actually  the  tax- 
payers. And  what  peculiar  merit,  then,  can  Mr.  Ketchum  claim  for  these 
owners  of  property,  and  petitioners  to  have  all  the  rest  of  the  citizens  taxed 
as  well  as  themselves?  But  he  insists  that  there  was  an  agreement,  a 
co\-enant  entered  into  between  them  and  the  State  authorities,  and  if  you 
interfere  with  its  provisions,  you  must  release  these  tax-payers  from  their 
obligations  as  such.  With  all  my  heart— I  have  no  objection !  All  wo 
want  is,  that  there  should  be  no  unjust  interference — no  exclusive  system — ' 
no  extraneous  authority  interposed  between  the  tax-payer  and  the  purpose 
for  which  the  tax  is  collected.  But  the  fact  that  others  besides  these  pe- 
titioners are  equally  involved  in  the  burthen,  demolishes  this  argument  of 
Mr.  Ketchum. 

In  his  conclusion,  the  learned  gentleman  insists,  that  unless  the  Society 
reniain  as  it  is,  it  cannot  exist.  And  then  he  goes  on  further,  for  it  would 
be  impossible  for  him  to  close  his-speech  without  again  reminding  the  Sen- 
ate that  we  are  Roman  Catholics. 

He  says:  "The  people  in  New  York  understand  the  subject,  and  the 
Roman  Catholics  cannot  say  that  they  will  not  be  heard  as  well  there  as 
here.  Why  not  leave  the  matter  to  us,  the  people  of  the  city  of  New 
York?"  -  . 

Thus,  Mr.  Ketchum,  after  having  first  endeavored  to  impress  the  minds 
of  the  Senate  that  we  had  had  all  imaginable  fair-play,  that  other  denom- 
inations had  made  applications  similar  to  ours,  which  is  not  the  fact,  that 
our  jjetition  had  uniformly  been  denied  in  the  several  boards  representing 
the  people  of  New  York ;  whereas  he  knew  that  on  this  question,  the  peo- 
ple of  New  York  were  never  represented  by  the  Common  Council;  he  goes 
on  to  say,  at  last,  "  Why  not  leave  the  matter  to  us — the  people  of  the  city 
of  New  York  ?"  I  trust  not,  if  a  committee  of  the  Public  School  Society, 
called  the  Cgmmon  Council,  are  to  be  at  once -parties  and  judges,  I  hope 
that  the  question  will  not  be  referred  back;  although,  for  Mr.  Ketchum's 
satisfaction,  I  may  state,  that  if  it  were  so  referred,  the  Common  Council 
would  not,  I  will  venture  to  say,  now  decide  upon  it  by  such  a  vote  as  they 
did  before ;  when  one  man  alone  had  the  courage,  whether  he  was  right  orr 
wrong,  to  say  nay,  when  all  said  yes !  (Loud  and  long-continued  cheering,), 

In  consequence  of  that  vote,  as  they  have  since  taken  care  to  tell  us,  thi&. 
gentleman  lost  his  election,  but,  what  is  of  infinitely  more  importance,  ha- 
preserved  his  honor.  (Renewed  applause.)     Were  the  matter  now  before  the 
Common  Council,  they  would  see  a  thousand-and-one  reasons  for  hesitatioo , 
before  deciding  as  before.    For  when  public  men  see  that  any  measure  is- 
likely, to  be  popular,  they  can  find  abundant  reasons  for  taking  a  favorable 
view  of  the  question.    I  will  refer  Mr.  Ketchum  to  a  sign  from  whieh  hi© 
may  learn  what  he  pleases.     Since  the  Common  Council,  that  clmfied  our  - 
claims,  went  out  of  office,  their  successors  have  had  the  matter  b«fdre  them, 
and  when  in  the  Board  of  Assistants  it  was  proposed  to  pass  a/  resolution 
requesting  the!  Legislature  to  defer  the  consideration  of  the  question,  the 
motion  was  negatived  by  a  tie  vote. 

Still  Mr.  Ketchum  will  have  the  end  of  this  speech  something  like  the 
end  of  the  last.  Then  he  said  this  was  a  most  distressing  topic  to  the 
gentlemen  of  the  Public  School  Society — th%t  they  were  men-  of  peace — 
that  I  do"  not  controvert,  but  certainly  I  must  say  that  i»  the  course  of 
this  contest  they  appear  to  have  exhibited  a  spirit  contrary  to. their  natures ! 
— but  so  peaceful  were  they,  Mr..  Ketchum  said,  that  if  any  longer  annoyed 
they  would  throw  up  their  office  and  retire  1  (Cheers  anxyaughter.)  But, 


after  all,  tliey  could  send  their  agents  to  Albany  to  oppose  us  there— tlio 
r)ne,  Dr.  Rockwell,  to  disseminate  a  burlesque  on  our  faith  from  Tristram 
Shandy — the  other,  Mr.  Ketchum,  to  plead  as  zealously,  but  I  think  not  as 
successfully,  as  ever  against  the  recognition  of  our  claims. 

Mr.  Ketchum  says :  "  Now  the  contest  is  renewed,  and'  the  trustees 
engage  in  it  with  extreme  reluctance ;  they  have  no  personal  interests  to 
advance,  and  they  are  very  unwilling  to  be  put  in  hostile  array  against 
any  Of  their  fellow-citizens." 

Mr.  Chairman,  the  lateness  of  the  hour  admonishes  me  that  I  have  tres- 
passed too  much  upon  your  patience  ;  I  have  but  one  observation  toinake 
in  conclusion.  These  gentlemen  have  spoken  much  and  laid  great  emphasis 
on  the  importance  of  morality,  but  as  I  have  already  remarked,  morality  is 
not  always  judged  of  by  the  same  criterion.  Let  me  illustrate  this.  Accord- 
ing to  the  morality  which  my  religion  teaches,  if  I  rob  a  man,  or  injure  him 
in  his  property,  and  desire  to  be  reconciled  to  God,  I  mxist  first,  of  all,  if  it 
be  in  my  power,  make  reparation  to  the  man  whom  I  have  injured.  Again, 
if  I  should  unfortunately  rob  my  neighbor  of  his  good  name — of  his  repu- 
tation— either  by  accident  or  through  malice,  before  I  can  hope  for  recon- 
ciliation with  an  pifended  God,  I  must  repair  the  injury  and  restore  my 
neighbor's  good  name.  If  I  belie  him  I  must  acknowledge  the  lie  as 
publicly  as  it  was  uttered — tliat  is  Catholic  morality. 

Well,  now,  these  gentlemen  hdve  belied  us — they  have  put  forward  and 
circulated  a  document  which  existed  only  in  the  imagination  of  Sterne — a  foul 
document — and  represented  it  as  a  part  of  our  creed.  I  do  not  say  that  they 
directly  required  this  to  be  done;  but  their  Agent  did  it,  and  he  cannot  deny 
it.  I  wonder  now,  then,  if  they  will  have  such  a  sense  of  morality  as  will 
impel  them  to  endeavor  to  repair  the  injury  thus  done  to  our  reputation,  by  any 
official  declaration  that  that  is  a  spurious  document  ?  I  wonder  if  the  consci- 
entious morality  that  presides  over  the  "  Journal  of  Commerce  "  will  prompt  its 
editors  to  such  a  course  f     If  it  do  not,  then  it  is  a  morality  different  from  ours. 

I  apprehend  that  no  such  reparation  will  be  offered  for  the  injury  we  have 
sustained  by  the  everlasting  harangue  of  a,buse  and  vituperation  that  has  been 
poured  out  against  us  for  these  few  years  past.  Have  we  not  been  assailed 
with  a  foul  and  infamous  fiction  in  the  pages  of  a  work  called  "Maria  Monk?" 
and  have  its  Reverend  authors  ever  stood  forward  to  do  us  justice  and  acknowl- 
edge the  untruth  which,  knowing  it  to  be  so,  they  published  ?  Have  they  ever 
attempted  to  counteract  that  obscene  poison  which  they  disseminated,  comjpt- 
ing  the  morals  of  youth  throughout  every  hamlet  in  the  land  ?  Whilst  de- 
nouncing in  their  ecclesiastical  assemblies  the  works  of  Byron  and  Bulwer,  did 
they  include  in  their  denunciation  the  filthy  and  enormous  lie,  published  under 
their  auspices — the  writings  of  "Mauia  Monk?"  What  idea,  then,  must  we 
form  of  their  morality  and  religion  ?  And,  here,  it  would  be  unjust  to  omit 
mentioning  that  many  Protestants,  not  under  the  influence  of  blinded  bigotry, 
have  done  us  justice  on  this  point.  In  particular  I  refer  to  the  conduc